I attended the retirement ceremony for a guy I first supervised after he arrived at his first duty station. He was a brand-new Airman Basic (E-1) right out of basic training and technical school. I was a Technical Sergeant (E-6) back in 1986. We served together until that base closed down in 1992 including deploying together to Saudi Arabia for Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Twenty-six years after our first meeting he is retiring today as a Senior Master Sergeant (E-8)--same rank I retired at 13 1/2 years ago. A few weeks ago he looked me up and asked me to give the invocation at his retirement ceremony. He said that I was there at the beginning of his career and he wanted me there at the end. While chatting before the ceremony, he told me that in those early days he saw in me everything he wanted to be as an Air Force professional. He was always a good kid and a pleasure to lead. He went on to have a stellar career mentoring others the way he said I mentored him. I'm proud to have known him and proud to have made a positive impact on his life and career. A salute to Senior Dave on his retirement! I'm proud to have served along side you! Go Air Force!