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Absinthe Anecdote
01-06-2014, 05:40 PM
Over the course of my career, I received a good amount of medals, plaques, certificates, and going away presents.

I have never displayed any of it; some of the stuff, I threw away on the spot, the rest, I packed away with the intention of displaying it in a study, or "man cave" during my retirement years.

I am approaching seven years into my retirement, all that stuff is still in boxes, and I have decided to go travel and work abroad for a few years. It has been a dream of mine, and I'm going for it.

I am currently in the process of getting rid of the vast majority of my possessions, not just the military stuff, but furniture, kitchen wares, electronics, everything. I am keeping two cartons of belongings in the attic of my sister's house, but that's it.

This is fucking with my head a little, I haven't had those boxes of medals, certificates, plaques and desk clocks open in several years. I probably just could have carried those sealed boxes of mementos strait to the dumpster and it would have been so much easier.

Instead, I opened them and started sorting through them and was hit by a wave of nostalgia. I'm keeping only a select few items and I feel like shit for tossing this stuff, but I'm sure I'll get over it.

Can anyone relate to this?

On a separate note, has anyone ever sold BDU's, and assorted "field gear" to a military surplus store? I wonder if it is worth the hassle to try to make a few bucks off some of the other gear that I have packed away?

CJSmith
01-06-2014, 05:43 PM
On a separate note, has anyone ever sold BDU's, and assorted "field gear" to a military surplus store? I wonder if it is worth the hassle to try to make a few bucks off some of the other gear that I have packed away?

I sold a lot of my BDU stuff on ebay. Made a decent amount, considering...well...you know.

LogDog
01-06-2014, 05:46 PM
Over the course of my career, I received a good amount of medals, plaques, certificates, and going away presents.

I have never displayed any of it; some of the stuff, I threw away on the spot, the rest, I packed away with the intention of displaying it in a study, or "man cave" during my retirement years.

I am approaching seven years into my retirement, all that stuff is still in boxes, and I have decided to go travel and work abroad for a few years. It has been a dream of mine, and I'm going for it.

I am currently in the process of getting rid of the vast majority of my possessions, not just the military stuff, but furniture, kitchen wares, electronics, everything. I am keeping two cartons of belongings in the attic of my sister's house, but that's it.

This is fucking with my head a little, I haven't had those boxes of medals, certificates, plaques and desk clocks open in several years. I probably just could have carried those sealed boxes of mementos strait to the dumpster and it would have been so much easier.

Instead, I opened them and started sorting through them and was hit by a wave of nostalgia. I'm keeping only a select few items and I feel like shit for tossing this stuff, but I'm sure I'll get over it.

Can anyone relate to this?

On a separate note, has anyone ever sold BDU's, and assorted "field gear" to a military surplus store? I wonder if it is worth the hassle to try to make a few bucks off some of the other gear that I have packed away?
The awards you earn are the immediate recognition you receive for what you did then. Years later, you look back on the awards and it reminds you that all those years of hard work and long hours to accomplish the mission actually meant something and helps validates your service. I've got my awards hanging in my "home office," where I'm the only one who sees them, and they remind me of what I've done and where I've been.

DWWSWWD
01-06-2014, 05:54 PM
Yeah. I am still on AD but am not a plaque hanger. I have a few things in my office that are important to me but mostly war booty and souvenir type things. A war club that I got in Fiji. It is presented to thier Chiefs and I thought it was cool. An old Persian rifle, an Afghan rug thing depicting the planes hitting the towers, a hat from the ship TSgt John Chapman, given to me by his Mom, an Iraqi radio etc. Guess I was getting a little nostalgic myself. Anywho, I don't know what to do with those plaques I have boxed up. I am thinking I'll pull all of my medal citations out of the puffies and put them in a folder. Keep the shadow box and coins. That will be about it. In the interest of full disclosure, I did hang my degrees in my office, including the CCAF.

fufu
01-06-2014, 06:11 PM
On a separate note, has anyone ever sold BDU's, and assorted "field gear" to a military surplus store? I wonder if it is worth the hassle to try to make a few bucks off some of the other gear that I have packed away?

Boy scouts love that stuff. I'd donate it to them.

Chief_KO
01-06-2014, 08:21 PM
Took all my pieces of paper (diplomas, certificates, photos, letters, programs, etc.) and placed into three scrapbooks. Scrapbooks have the AF crest on the cover (available at Michael's...use the coupons from the Sunday paper!)
Hung my shadow box and Chief memorabillia in a corner of our basement family room, all the other stuff is in a large footlocker painted with American flags (from Hobby Lobby...use the coupons from the Sunday paper!)
Got rid of all my old uniforms (except one of each type) and stored in plastic totes in basement with all the other storage stuff.
I do wear my AF PTU when cutting the grass...it's ventilated and keeps the sun off my arms & legs (skin cancer) and is loose enough to cover my knee braces. Plus the rustling sound is so soothing.
Be proud of your service, whether its on display or not is up to you, but keep those things that have meaning and can bring a smile or reminder of good (or bad) times.

BRUWIN
01-06-2014, 08:43 PM
My shadow box kind of sums everything up for me so I don't display anything else. I don't even know where any of my stuff is. It's separated and all stored in various places. If I opened it maybe I would display some things...but I really doubt it. Really, the only thing I will ever not throw away are the old pictures of deployments, patches, and so-forth. It's funny, now that we are in the digital age I've lost almost all my pictures through various computer hard drive crashes and so-forth. I was just never very good at digitally organizing and backing stuff up. All I really have is the old hard copy photo's.

Rainmaker
01-06-2014, 08:51 PM
My shadow box kind of sums everything up for me so I don't display anything else. I don't even know where any of my stuff is. It's separated and all stored in various places. If I opened it maybe I would display some things...but I really doubt it. Really, the only thing I will ever not throw away are the old pictures of deployments, patches, and so-forth. It's funny, now that we are in the digital age I've lost almost all my pictures through various computer hard drive crashes and so-forth. I was just never very good at digitally organizing and backing stuff up. All I really have is the old hard copy photo's.

Rainmaker's ex-wife #2 burned all his pics. So, Now he just have to try and rely on the Mental highlight reel. But, the details startin to be getting fuzzy. Nomsayin?

Rainmaker
01-06-2014, 08:56 PM
Yeah. I am still on AD but am not a plaque hanger. I have a few things in my office that are important to me but mostly war booty and souvenir type things. A war club that I got in Fiji. It is presented to thier Chiefs and I thought it was cool. An old Persian rifle, an Afghan rug thing depicting the planes hitting the towers, a hat from the ship TSgt John Chapman, given to me by his Mom, an Iraqi radio etc. Guess I was getting a little nostalgic myself. Anywho, I don't know what to do with those plaques I have boxed up. I am thinking I'll pull all of my medal citations out of the puffies and put them in a folder. Keep the shadow box and coins. That will be about it. In the interest of full disclosure, I did hang my degrees in my office, including the CCAF.

Its ok to get nostalgic about it. But, its never really a good idea to bring the war booty home wiff you.

BOSS302
01-06-2014, 09:12 PM
My shadow box kind of sums everything up...

I'm assuming your shadow box consists of an Article 15 & a model of a piece of crap F-111?

akruse
01-06-2014, 09:25 PM
I'm assuming your shadow box consists of an Article 15 & a model of a piece of crap F-111?

And an umbrella

Absinthe Anecdote
01-06-2014, 09:29 PM
I'm assuming your shadow box consists of an Article 15 & a model of a piece of crap F-111?

LOL!

The very first aircraft I watched land while on duty was a F-111. I watched it on approach and it was trailing a stream of black smoke and when it touched down it promptly got hot brakes. Those rotors were practically glowing.

efmbman
01-06-2014, 09:38 PM
I do wear my AF PTU when cutting the grass...

With or without reflective belt?

Absinthe Anecdote
01-06-2014, 09:42 PM
Took all my pieces of paper (diplomas, certificates, photos, letters, programs, etc.) and placed into three scrapbooks. Scrapbooks have the AF crest on the cover (available at Michael's...use the coupons from the Sunday paper!)

Good advice on the scrapbooks; that's probably a good compact way to store some of the highlights; however, the majority of the stuff I have has to go.


Be proud of your service, whether its on display or not is up to you, but keep those things that have meaning and can bring a smile or reminder of good (or bad) times.

Indeed! I am proud of my time in the Air Force, it was such a big part of my life. I guess going through old boxes at this time of year only multiples feelings of nostalgia.

Frankly, I had a tough time adjusting to civilian life and now it feels like I am finally saying goodbye to that chapter of my life.

Chief_KO
01-06-2014, 09:51 PM
With or without reflective belt?

Without...I don't cut the grass when it's dark out. And I'm not old enough to wander off the homestead.

Being a non-flightline type I honestly only recall wearing one at my last two assignments...and only then during exercises. I liked the elastic type, then I could wear it around my chest and do my Chris Farley "Fat Guy in Refective Belt" dance in the UCC to crack up my Airmen.

imported_KnuckleDragger
01-06-2014, 10:25 PM
nevermind

LogDog
01-06-2014, 10:27 PM
I'm assuming your shadow box consists of an Article 15 & a model of a piece of crap F-111?
I wonder if he still has all that "crap" that flowed down the proverbial hill in his direction.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
01-07-2014, 01:13 AM
I have three large boxes of "It's your turn for the CGO of the Qtr" award, plus a bunch of other crap still in storage. In my new man room I am displaying my shadow box, a few going away lithos and a large "maintenance man." The rest of that shit, including my worthless SOS and ACSC grad certs are going into the trash.

sandsjames
01-07-2014, 01:42 AM
The only stuff I kept is something I may need for a resume and stuff that was a gift. The other crap is gone. Uniforms were cut up or given away.

LogDog
01-07-2014, 05:25 AM
I have three large boxes of "It's your turn for the CGO of the Qtr" award, plus a bunch of other crap still in storage. In my new man room I am displaying my shadow box, a few going away lithos and a large "maintenance man." The rest of that shit, including my worthless SOS and ACSC grad certs are going into the trash.
This is no joke. When I was stationed at Osan, I had won a SNCO of the Quarter award and another MSgt had won one also. When it came time for the Group SNCO of the Year I was walking past hospital administrator's office when he called me in. The other MSgt who had won a SNCO of the Quarter award was in the administrator's office and the discussion immediately turned to who the Group's SNCO nominee the wing would be. The other MSgt said he was too busy with work and studying for the last couple of classes for his degree to go up for it so the administrator said to me "Congratulations, you're Group's SNCO of the Year. I went on to be selected SNCO of the Year for the Wing and how I won that award I don't really know or remember. I was almost late for the board because they had moved the location of the board and I only found that out when I went to the original location and the people there told where it was moved to. I made it with five minutes to spare and I was sweating from jogging there in my Blues.

AF Chief
01-07-2014, 03:09 PM
This hit me last week. My retirement cermony (after 30 years) is this month. My oldest daughter got married last year and we had a empty room. The walls were bare. I was asking the wife, what can we hang on these walls? She said, "why don't you put all your military stuff you have collected over the years on the walls"? I then realized for the past 30 years, most of my stuff was packed away in boxes and hidden in closets. I dug through all that stuff and put it up on the walls. I am still missing many original decoration citations...hopefully they are somewhere in a album stashed somewhere in the house. In my office at work, I would have a few things on the walls, but that was just to fill space.

Sergeant eNYgma
01-07-2014, 03:27 PM
I don't have much at work myself but as I type this I see the one guy who actually has all this bullcrap....coins, certs, plaques, etc It's like his personal spank bank at work or something. I have other stuff at home but I'll be systematically getting rid of most of it just keeping some of the items I really like and that'll be my Air Force wall so to speak (And even that is provided I'm not sick to death of the AF when I get out).

Drackore
01-07-2014, 07:03 PM
I win often enough, but I'm not like some of those that seems to have several awards from every assignment. At work, I display my degrees and my medal citiations from other services as well as anything else that *I* am proud to have earned. I get a few jokes, especially when it comes to the CCAF stuff, but the people making the jokes look at them long and hard and are also pursuing their own degrees. I figure if my own personal success can help motivate others - what's the harm?

I don't display wood or coins at work. My wife insists on displaying them at home, and we don't have many guests in my home because I hate house guests. I guess she does it for our son, who is at that age where winning awards is important to him. It motivates him, and who doesn't want to motivate their teenager? When he wins, he wants to display it and be proud of it. I'm all for that.

I've been watching a lot of "Scrubs" on Netflix lately. Dr Cox...the obnoxious but funny guy. I relate to him the most. Not because I want to think I have the same attitude at work or sense of humor, I can't really pull that kind of shit off. I relate to him because he's ALWAYS going against the politics, and people are always telling him that it's not wrong to "play the game" once in awhile. I do...rarely but every so often, because I realize that for me to have any chance to advance (if I want to, I won't burn the bridge but you all know how I feel about it), the game needs to be played. It's just the way it is.

I earn my awards, but most times I earn NOT winning. Sometimes I make legitimate mistakes that prevent consideration, most times I just piss off my E9 so much there is no way in hell. I pick a quarter here and there and decide "I'll keep my mouth shut and just play the game" and then do the stuff that needs to be done. Win, move on.

SNCOs get credit if their people win awards. It goes on our EPRs, and boards score for that. I want my people to win for the same reason that I want my son to win: self-esteem boosts, recognition for hard work, etc. I could care less if it ends up on my EPR or before the board.

All of that above might be why I don't display my quarterly awards at work...the perception that I am chasing rank? I can self-analyze myself all day long, I'll never really know. Bottom line: Some people are proud of their accomplishments, others use it to motivate their folks, or a combination. Still others might be giant tool bags that are just bragging and rubbing it in everyone's faces with that "look at me" attitude. If the latter, I guarantee people already know they are giant tool bags even if they didn't hang or display a single item.

Absinthe Anecdote
01-07-2014, 07:24 PM
WTF? Drackore

You do realize that you made me want to gouge my eyes out with that post.

I think you should have an oversized copy of your CCAF diploma printed an hang that in your office. Really big, like the size of those checks they give to lottery winners.

DWWSWWD
01-07-2014, 10:17 PM
WTF? Drackore

I think you should have an oversized copy of your CCAF diploma printed an hang that in your office. Really big, like the size of those checks they give to lottery winners. Seriously, mine is hanging on my wall next to my Masters' degree. In fact, as a CCAF alumni and benefactor, they are going to name a virtual classroom after me. I had my Platinum Level paver installed in the sidewalk outside of my building. It's a big deal.

Mcjohn1118
01-07-2014, 10:52 PM
WTF? Drackore

You do realize that you made me want to gouge my eyes out with that post.

I think you should have an oversized copy of your CCAF diploma printed an hang that in your office. Really big, like the size of those checks they give to lottery winners.

Dude, I think you are on to something. I'm going to write to the Fatheads company and see if they will make a huge "fathead" CCAF diploma. I do have my diplomas, some coins and a branding iron in my office. All the other stuff is at home. I retire this May and was just looking at my stuff the other day to figure what I want in a shadow box if anything.

Mcjohn1118
01-07-2014, 10:53 PM
This hit me last week. My retirement cermony (after 30 years) is this month. My oldest daughter got married last year and we had a empty room. The walls were bare. I was asking the wife, what can we hang on these walls? She said, "why don't you put all your military stuff you have collected over the years on the walls"? I then realized for the past 30 years, most of my stuff was packed away in boxes and hidden in closets. I dug through all that stuff and put it up on the walls. I am still missing many original decoration citations...hopefully they are somewhere in a album stashed somewhere in the house. In my office at work, I would have a few things on the walls, but that was just to fill space.

Congrats on your retirement and thank you for your service.

fufu
01-08-2014, 02:57 AM
One thing I've noticed in every Chiefs office is the amount of wood or luv me shit all over the walls. When I see all those statues, awards, and going away gifts it makes me realize that I will most likely never make Chief. I prefer to rock the boat vs stand in line. Thus, I've never been the "favorite" at any point in my career. I have one qtrly award, one going away gift and about 9 coins. I give the coins to my grandfather, he likes them. I have the qtrly award on my desk, which will probably be given back to the Sq when I leave so they can reuse it. The going away gift is MIA, I think it is in a box in the basement.

I've always wondered what the blue carders did with all that shit. Now, I know! LOL My FIL and GFIL are retired AF and neither has any AF swag in their homes or man caves. I might display my shadow box, if I buy one. Otherwise, I'm not keeping anything else.

I like the coins, all of them have been given to me. I've never bought a single coin. They are my little roadmap.

VCO
01-08-2014, 08:01 AM
I motive my folks daily by making them look at my wall full of I Luv Me stuff. I even printed out my IA and Human Trafficking certificates to let them know I'm legit. I had a shelf in the corner where I kept my awards, but it broke the other day, so I'm getting it reinforced.

Gonzo432
01-08-2014, 10:50 AM
I motive my folks daily by making them look at my wall full of I Luv Me stuff. I even printed out my IA and Human Trafficking certificates to let them know I'm legit. I had a shelf in the corner where I kept my awards, but it broke the other day, so I'm getting it reinforced.

Block III Equipment Custodian Training? That would complete the room.

Gonzo432
01-08-2014, 10:53 AM
AFChief: Congrats on an outstanding career and good luck in the future.

"What matters" will end up on the wall. The herd will be culled significantly.

BENDER56
01-08-2014, 03:14 PM
I used to display all my stuff in my office because my wife wouldn't have any of it in the house. Today it's all in storage.

When I retired I took all the documents and photos and put them in plastic sleeves in binders, except for a few photos where the matte had been signed by people. Some farewell mementos were professionally framed so I left those intact, too.

Like Chief KO, I kept one example of each type of uniform. The rest I took to the Airman's Attic (or whatever the Navy's equivalent of that is).

I threw out a lot of stuff. For some reason I had kept every copy of the PFE Study Guide (now PDG) I was ever issued going back to the mid '80s. Go figure.

Not sure what I'm ever going to do with what's left. I don't envision moving into a bigger place ever, so I guess it'll all just stay in storage until I'm gone and my kids have to decide what to do with it.

sandsjames
01-08-2014, 03:35 PM
One thing I've noticed in every Chiefs office is the amount of wood or luv me shit all over the walls. When I see all those statues, awards, and going away gifts it makes me realize that I will most likely never make Chief. I prefer to rock the boat vs stand in line. Thus, I've never been the "favorite" at any point in my career. I have one qtrly award, one going away gift and about 9 coins. I give the coins to my grandfather, he likes them. I have the qtrly award on my desk, which will probably be given back to the Sq when I leave so they can reuse it. The going away gift is MIA, I think it is in a box in the basement.

I've always wondered what the blue carders did with all that shit. Now, I know! LOL My FIL and GFIL are retired AF and neither has any AF swag in their homes or man caves. I might display my shadow box, if I buy one. Otherwise, I'm not keeping anything else.

I like the coins, all of them have been given to me. I've never bought a single coin. They are my little roadmap.

They post it for two reasons. One, it makes them feel better than everyone else. Two, they THINK it motivates others. It does, I guess. It motivates the people who are going to be motivated to chase that stuff anyway.

There you go, AA...another negative post. But it's the truth.