Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jay's Journey

Be careful what kind of wallpaper you put up in your child’s bedroom.  It just might influence them more than you know!
Baby Jay in his bedroom. 
From a young age, my husband wore camo and dreamt of flying.  

As a teen he joined Air Cadets (Canadian Forces youth program) and really enjoyed the program.  He especially loved rocketry, shooting, survival and the esprit de corps within the squadron.   

When he was 19, he joined the Canadian Army Infantry Reserves (part time).  He got the ‘Top Student’ award during basic training.  

At age 20 he moved to Ottawa for University.  He joined the Governor General’s Foot Guards (infantry unit) and performed synchronized drill and stood guard at the Governor General’s residence (tourists unsuccessfully tried to make him laugh).  

While he was with the infantry, his dream of flying never ceased.  Out of his own pocket, he paid for ground school and flight time and slowly worked towards getting his private pilot’s license. 

In the meantime, he didn’t do well at University, even failing courses.  He was uninterested in academics, poor and discouraged.  I spoke French and made decent money in Canada while he loaded luggage on planes and fueled aircraft for minimum wage at the airport in -40C weather.  He needed out because he didn't see life getting any better the way he was going.

But a big brother (Jay's rock) and dual citizenship would come to the rescue.  If he joined the Connecticut Army National Guard, they’d pay for his tuition.  So he left Canada and joined his brother and his wife in the USA.  
He started as an avionic technician in the Guard but we had no idea what God had in store for him...
Because he never did finish his degree.  Instead he married me and got a decent civilian job in avionics.  
He gave his life to God and pursued flying as a hobby.  In early September 2001, he got his private pilot’s license for fixed wings!  

We took the skies in a rented plane and it was awesome!  He loved it so much that he knew he wanted to make a career out of it.  So he applied to Flight School with the Army.
And after much waiting.  And after September 11th rattling the country. And during a deployment... he was called to go to Flight School!

Dec 2004, my man got his Aviator Wings. Here's me pinning them on:

Now fast forward to this week in May 2012.  My husband’s unit is doing their annual training in Gagetown, New Brunswick CANADA.  ONE HOUR FROM OUR HOMETOWN!  He's gone to places like Texas, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, and even Egypt for annual training.  So what a surprise to be so close to home!  Who would have thought that he’d be flying over his old stomping grounds in a US Army helicopter? 

I don’t brag too often about my man.  But I am super proud of him for what he has achieved.  I had to show the world where he came from because this is like a full circle moment for him.  He has gone thru the trenches (literally) and worked HARD to get where he is.  He never gave up.  And most importantly he found Jesus.  He has put God first in all decisions, making sure that what he does honors Him.  He’s a great leader of our home!  He works long days and never complains as he takes good care of me and the kids.  He loves me passionately.  He loves his children unconditionally.  We love him so much and are so proud that this incredible man gets to live his dream.  We're one blessed family!


Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

holy cow - the wallpaper!!!!!!!

Tami Umland said...

Wow, I am so glad you took time to share his journey with us. How encouraging. GO JAY!!!