(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
November 25, 1973 was a nice fall Sunday afternoon in Mesa, Arizona. Little did I know that it also was the day that would forever change my life!
Prior to that day I was 2Lt. Boyd Leon Hammack, USAF, son of Archie and Ola Mae Hammack, going through Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams AFB, AZ. But by dinner time, I was Leon Hammack the brand new father of an infant boy named Jason Christopher Hammack! My life was undergoing a dramatic shift!
At almost 23 years old I really didn’t know the far reaching ramifications of this special day. I did not know all the nuiances of fatherhood and what the future would be for me! After all, I had just graduated from California State University, Fresno in June and had only been in the Air Force for a total of three months. The grind and stress of learning to fly jets in the USAF paled in comparison to what would lie ahead for me a parent!
Looking back on the last 36 years, it was quite a journey! Throughout those 36 years there were joys and there were heartaches, there were good times and bad times. Watching your son trying to manipulate the maze of life can be very trying, difficult, and very tumultuous for both parent and child!
Even though there were times I was not sure I was going to live through it all, we both did!
November 25, 1973, the beginning of the rest of my life!
Happy 36th Birthday, Jason!
PS A note to both of my sons:
I know that I was lacking in some areas of fatherhood, but I truly did the best that I could. I love both of you from the bottom of my heart! After all, you are my legacy!