Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day Tribute to My BFF, the Colonel

Some of us have generations of relatives who've served in the military.

Some of us have a friend or two whom we've met on their multiple moves across the country.

My extremely limited exposure to military life is through a girlfriend I've known since age 14.

High school pals Lisa, Tricia, & Tracy

She is super cool. Super strong. The absolute greatest daughter on the planet. And she is one of the best friends a girl could ever have.

Her name is Tricia York, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force.

Tricia's Big Promotion--pinned a Colonel!

Tricia taught me what it meant to work hard for everything you have. In 9th grade Tricia would take the bus home with me after school and walk to work in her swaggy, green polyester Publix uniform. Her mom would pick her up at closing time.

My childhood Carrollwood Village home in Tampa, Florida

We still laugh about the ham sandwiches we would eat together in my kitchen. We also laugh at how hot we thought we looked before the Rick Springfield concert.

Hot stuff, baby

It was a total thrill to send her a signed copy of Rick's book on her 40-ish birthday.

Tricia did R.O.T.C. to pay her way through college. I remember how excited she was to finally get braces as an adult member of the military. And I loved visiting Tricia when she was stationed in Germany.

Throughout our 30-plus year friendship, we've connected multiple times in Florida, Colorado, and on a crazy fun Germany & France trip with another high school girlfriend.

The greatness that is nutella & banana crepes

The laughs never stop when I'm with Tricia.

We've shed a few tears too, like when my mama died. Tricia and her mother came to see my skeletal Marilyn to say goodbye. That took guts. Trust me.

I learned how to be a more caring daughter because of Tricia and the beautiful relationship she has with her own mom.

Just a few months ago, Tricia made Colonel.

Sibling Colonels John and Tricia York

So did her big brother, John. Kudos to this intelligent, fearless, fighter pilot. John has seen things nobody should, has risked his life in the most most terrifying scenarios. I will personally forever thank John for opening my eyes to a Disneyland in Tokyo, where I eventually got to work and travel Asia. He and I also climbed Mt. Fuji together in Japan, where he saved me from hypothermia. Cool dude.

So on this Veteran's Day, I am teary and touched by the lifelong love, support, and friendship I've found in my favorite military members: the York siblings.

They are truly something. Something wonderful.

Something worth celebrating every day of the year.  

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