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NEWS | May 18, 2009

Giving thanks

By Mrs. Jennifer Gilstrap Air Force spouse

There are so many special moments that occur throughout our lives that we often take them for granted and fail to take time to truly appreciate them.  We sometimes let those moments pass without giving thanks to those who made them possible. 

I will be forever thankful for each and every moment I spent with my husband, Col. Jim "Strapper" Gilstrap, before he passed away last month.  He will always hold a special place in my heart and letting him go will be one of the hardest things I will ever face. But as I work through this difficult time in my life, I would like to take a moment to express my thanks to the men and women who made possible the very special and memorable memorial service honoring my husband at the Langley Chapel on May 2. 

I know that my husband loved the Air Force and he told me on many occasions that it was the people he worked with every day that made him feel that way.  He truly believed that each member was part of his Air Force family, and that was especially evident on that rainy Saturday in May, when his Air Force brothers and sisters came out with their spouses to honor him.  From the Honor Guard and musicians to the members of General Corley's Command Staff, including each and every person behind the scenes, I truly appreciate them all.  The personal touches, individual contributions and support provided by each member of our Air Force family made that day a special one that I will always remember and be grateful for.  Thank you. 

Editor's note:  Colonel Gilstrap, Air Combat Command director of safety, died of cancer in his home April 27.