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View Full Version : R.I.P. CMSgt Suzette Cherry



CrustySMSgt
04-08-2013, 05:51 AM
Just had to share this as a message/reminder to all...

A great friend of mine had her retirement ceremony 5 March 2012. She was the Command Chief at a Reserve Wing and also a contractor, and retired to spend more time with her family. Her husband is an ART CMSgt. One short year after her retirement, on 8 March 2013, out of the blue, she was diagnosed with Lukemia. One month later, today, she passed away... on their 12th wedding anniversary.

Life is short folks! Live each day as if it was your last. If you're staying late at work just to be there and sacrificing time with your family, that work will be there tomorrow... get your ass home. We never know when our time will be up. We all hope to be able to enjoy time spent with our families when we retire, but tomorrow isn't a guaruntee. Suzette lived every day to the fullest; I've never met a person so full of life. While it is hard to imagine a world without her smile, her memory will live on in the memories of all whose lives she touched.

Rest in peace my friend... you will truly be missed.

http://www.302aw.afrc.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/120414-F-VQ908-002.jpg

BUDJR8
04-08-2013, 08:30 AM
Condolences to you and the family. I find myself doing exactly what you pointed out not to do, far too often. As you said, in the end when we retire, all we have is hopefully our family intact. I see myself and many others putting in long hours and often wonder "for what?".

CJSmith
04-08-2013, 09:29 AM
Sad day for you, the family and the AF. A previous OIC of mine once told us, "No one ever layed on their death bed and said, 'I wished I had spent more time at work.'" He valued family and told us we should too.

Condolences...

FLAPS
04-08-2013, 09:43 AM
That's pretty sad, and reminds me of several people who didn't live too long after retirement. It also reminds me of several Chiefs/Cols and other ranks who worked 12+ hour days, came in on weekends to catch up, etc in the years leading up to retirement. Not sure how any of them are doing, but one thing is for sure, and that's nobody is talking about their impact on the AF.

They came, they sacrificed family 12+ hours per day, and they left without leaving any legacy behind. No portraits of them on the walls, no "Col/Chief Snuffy Rememberance Day," no mention of them in PME books, and no discussion at work whatsoever about any impact they made to the AF while working so many long hours. Five minutes after their retirement, life went on as if they were never there. Makes you think...

CJSmith
04-08-2013, 09:54 AM
Sad day for you, the family and the AF. A previous OIC of mine once told us, "No one ever laid on their death bed and said, 'I wished I had spent more time at work.'" He valued family and told us we should too.

Condolences...

Luvnlife
04-08-2013, 01:11 PM
Sad and such a shame that she left so young. At least she had that one year with her family, I hate to hear about those that retire and then pass away soon after never really able to enjoy the retirement they earned.

FLAPS
04-08-2013, 01:14 PM
It definitely has me seriously thinking about retirement again. I was almost to the point of considering sticking it out for 2 more years... there are certainly worse things I could be doing and the extra $375 a month for one more year or $650 a month for 2 more years would be nice... but that's 2 less years of being a blue-card mafia bum.

That's extra retirement pay that's not even guaranteed, contrary to what most people like to think. When our gov so borrowing $3 billion PER DAY to pay the bills, it makes you think how long the good times (ie, ret pay checks) will last.

Bottom line is if you are only hanging around for the PROMISE of a larger future paycheck you might want to reconsider plans and focus on what's more important...family time.

CrustySMSgt
04-08-2013, 01:27 PM
It definitely has me seriously thinking about retirement again. I was almost to the point of considering sticking it out for 2 more years... there are certainly worse things I could be doing and the extra $375 a month for one more year or $650 a month for 2 more years would be nice... but that's 2 less years of being a blue-card mafia bum.

Sergeant eNYgma
04-08-2013, 01:48 PM
That's pretty sad, and reminds me of several people who didn't live too long after retirement. It also reminds me of several Chiefs/Cols and other ranks who worked 12+ hour days, came in on weekends to catch up, etc in the years leading up to retirement. Not sure how any of them are doing, but one thing is for sure, and that's nobody is talking about their impact on the AF.

They came, they sacrificed family 12+ hours per day, and they left without leaving any legacy behind. No portraits of them on the walls, no "Col/Chief Snuffy Rememberance Day," no mention of them in PME books, and no discussion at work whatsoever about any impact they made to the AF while working so many long hours. Five minutes after their retirement, life went on as if they were never there. Makes you think...

It does make you think...I did the same as a SrA trying to show I had what it took for the next stripe but I also reached that point of "WTF am I doing"? Nowadays unless it's an emgency or I just want to get a head start on something my ass is out the door with everyone else...and if I do stay it ain't longer than 15-20 mins...

OtisRNeedleman
04-08-2013, 02:02 PM
My sentiments, exactly. And my condolences to the chief's family. Personally, yesterday was eleven months since my open-heart surgery. Without it, I wouldn't be here. So I fully understand tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone.

And I add this. Even though you may have had a bad day, there is always something each day for which to be grateful. Could be something as small as a good meal. And if you think things are tough for you right now, there are many who would give anything to be in your situation.

So never forget what's important. In the grand scheme of things, work isn't all that important.

Thunderhorse19
04-08-2013, 04:08 PM
When I retired from the Army in 1996 after 30 years active duty, I was told that the average military retiree lives 7 years after retiring. It has some validation, as 50% of the folks I retired with died before 2001. Most died from heart attacks and cancer. My father, an Air Force retiree beat the odds and lived 44 years after he retired. I had my first heart attack in 1999, another in 2003 and another in 2007. I was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1992 and was forced to retire in 1996. I had another large tumor removed last year and underwent extensive chemotherapy. My condolences to Chief Cherry's family and all military retiree's families who've lost a loved one.

Drackore
04-08-2013, 05:14 PM
Damn I am sorry to hear that. My condolences.

MajesticThunder
04-08-2013, 05:20 PM
Condolences, sad to hear Suzette Cherry didn’t have a longer time to enjoy a well earned retirement with her family and friends.

Reading about her sad passing did strike a chord to remind me again how General "Chappie" James died of a heart attack two weeks after turning 58 and three weeks after Air Force retirement.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/djames.htm

Another poignant life caveat that we live on borrowed time.

VFFTSGT
04-09-2013, 04:17 PM
It definitely has me seriously thinking about retirement again. I was almost to the point of considering sticking it out for 2 more years... there are certainly worse things I could be doing and the extra $375 a month for one more year or $650 a month for 2 more years would be nice... but that's 2 less years of being a blue-card mafia bum.



They came, they sacrificed family 12+ hours per day, and they left without leaving any legacy behind. No portraits of them on the walls, no "Col/Chief Snuffy Rememberance Day," no mention of them in PME books, and no discussion at work whatsoever about any impact they made to the AF while working so many long hours. Five minutes after their retirement, life went on as if they were never there. Makes you think...


That's extra retirement pay that's not even guaranteed, contrary to what most people like to think. When our gov so borrowing $3 billion PER DAY to pay the bills, it makes you think how long the good times (ie, ret pay checks) will last.

Bottom line is if you are only hanging around for the PROMISE of a larger future paycheck you might want to reconsider plans and focus on what's more important...family time.

True stories. I lost a friend close to my age to Leukemia not too long ago...made me re-think a few things.

FLAPS, that is why I am punching...have no desire to spend anymore time away from the family.

It's funny though, I am watching someone else go through the retirement process right now and they cannot let it go...still think they always have to be there for every little thing.

BENDER56
04-09-2013, 05:59 PM
Please accept my condolences for the loss of your friend.

But I've never bought into the meme that it's a de facto tragedy when people die shortly following their retirement. If I had died the day after my retirement I would have still experienced all the wonderful events of my life up till that point; the loves, laughs, travels, etc. It obviously wouldn't matter to me because I'd be dead. Sorrow should be reserved only for the family and friends who are bereft of further company of their lost loved one. But that applies to most any death, not just one following a retirement.

As for the, "No one on his death bed wishes he had spent more time at the office," sentiment; count me in. Yeah, I put in some long hours at some of my assignments and during the early part of my career I volunteered for a lot of off-duty stuff, but after my kids were born I learned to do just enough to be seen as an above-average performer and little more. (Probably why I retired as a MSgt at 26 years.) My priorites were; 1-family, 2-me, 3-Air Force.

JD2780
04-09-2013, 06:16 PM
Sorry for the loss. Hope the family is handling it as well as can be expected.

Chief_KO
04-09-2013, 06:45 PM
When I retired from the Army in 1996 after 30 years active duty, I was told that the average military retiree lives 7 years after retiring. It has some validation, as 50% of the folks I retired with died before 2001. Most died from heart attacks and cancer.

That was one of the driving reasons behind the REDUX retirement system. The DoD knew that the average retiree would die before being eligible for full retirement. Thanks to lobbying from the military coalition the law was changed.