Good afternoon! This morning, I had the honor of attending the retirement ceremony of a great friend. MSgt(ret) Bob Delloma worked with me closely over the past 5+ years and I knew him professionally and some personal things.
Today, I learned more about the man and what drove him to be such a great comrade-in-arms, husband, father, and son. To hear his accomplishments for his 21 years of honorable service was not surprising. However, when it was his turn to speak, this is where I learned more about a good friend.
He was presented with his father's flag, his father had passed early on in Bob's military career and had been a military man himself. He had made Bob promise to make a career out of serving his country. Today, Bob fulfilled that promise and presented the flag ceremonially to his father while Taps played. Just talking about it and reflecting on what that meant still brings chills to my spine.
Bob also has three young sons as well. He presented each of them with articles of his uniform from the time period each was born. This was a special presentation to each young man. However, the significance of this momento will not be realized by them for some years, I suspect.
MSgt Delloma...Bob...my friend...thank you for honoring, protecting, and serving our great country. It is my distinct honor to welcome you to the ranks of veteran! Today was your farewell to arms and your introduction to your future. God Bless you and your family!