Chaplain Retires After 26 Years of Service
By Senior Airman Ryan Kuntze, 128th Air Refueling Wing
/ Published February 11, 2012
MILWAUKEE -- Air Force Chaplain Christopher Myers has found a new venue for his dedication and expertise as he traded digital camouflage for black cloth and a white collar.
After 26 years of military service--five of which were served with the 128th Air Refueling Wing--Chaplain Myers, a lieutenant colonel in the 128 ARW, retired effective December 31, 2011. The Milwaukee-based Air National Guard unit recognized Myers' retirement on Saturday, February 11, 2012, during a morning assembly.
Col. Michael Mayo, vice wing commander of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, presented Myers with an Army Commendation Medal for Myers' service at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, a United States flag that was flown over the nation's capitol, an Air Force retirement lapel pin, and a Minuteman statue engraved and personalized to recognize Myers' service in the Air National Guard.
Following the awards presentations, Chaplain Ben Johnson, a captain with the 128th Air Refueling Wing, offered a reflection on Myers' time with the Wing.
"As chaplains, one of the things that happens to us is that we don't often end up on the front line," Johnson said. "But sometimes we . . . hear the stories of these experiences. After 26 years, [Chaplain Myers has] experienced a lot of combat."
Speaking to his own experiences, Myers said, "It's important for a chaplain to know himself to do this kind of work." He spoke with regard to notifying the families of fallen service members and his time with wounded soldiers, airmen, and sailors.
Myers was born in 1956 at Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas, where his father served as a reconnaissance pilot for the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. He said that growing up in a military family involved a lot of travel, and Myers' military service saw its own share of travel; he has deployed three times to Germany and twice to Southwest Asia.
Leaving the military will not end Myers' dedication to the men and women who wear or wore a uniform. He said he has already accepted a position at Hines Veteran Affairs Hospital in Chicago.