Honor, duty and commitment are what it takes to lead an entire crew into harms way and still return victorious. It’s been a successful career for an Air Force General, who is longest serving general and is now ready for retirement.
Trumpets sounded and flags flew as Lieutenant General Brad Heithold took his final salute after serving for 44 years in the Air force.
“My entire youthful years were dedicated to service to this country and to the United State Air Force. So, really today this day capsulated really all 44 years of my extremely proud service to the country,” said Lt. Gen. Brad A. Heithold, United States Air Force, Retired.
Hundreds of distinguished military guest and the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Air Force gathered to celebrate, as Heithold officially enters retirement. He enlisted in the air force in 1974 and was commissioned in 1981.
Forty-four years later, Heithold has an outstanding list of accomplishments.
“To be quite honest with you I would have perhaps retired a few years ago but, when you get a call that says, we need you to do this. You are the best qualified to do this job, you continue to serve because they ask you to. So it’s any time any place any where not only in a war zone, but also in war zones like the pentagon,” said Lt. Gen. Heithold.
When asked what it takes to make it in the Air Force and how he made it for 44 years, he answered with a smile.
“I would go any place, any where, any time. All you’ve got to do is call on this Air Commando. I was going any place, you just call me,” said Lt. Gen. Heithold.
Heithold says he plans to partake in several new adventures in his retirement and he plans to call Okaloosa county his permanent home.
The Air Force Special Operations motto is, “Any Time. Any Where,” and Heithold says, he would still lead his crews with that motto to this day.