Sunday, November 22, 2009

STS-129

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
Have you ever fulfilled a lifetime dream, not a goal but a “DREAM”? I look at goals as something that are measurable and attainable and view dreams as a step beyond goals, bordering on the verge of immeasurable and unattainable. I consider myself a “GOAL” oriented person but if I was asked what my lifetime dream was, I would have a hard time providing an answer. Well this past Monday, 16 November 2009 at 1438, I was able to witness my good friend, LtCol Randy “Komrade” Bresnick, attain a lifetime dream as he lifted off of Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Space Shuttle Atlantis.

This was quite possibly the most emotional experience (next to the birth of my children) of my life. I cried like a baby as I watched that shuttle blast off into space. I was honored to have been invited to watch the launch and even more excited that the whole family could attend. Having grown up in Orlando, FL, I could see the Space Shuttle launch from my front porch. I would watch the initial lift off on TV and walk out the front door as it cleared the tree line, but I never saw a launch up close and personal. When I ask my kids what they thought about the experience I get one word answers like “awesome”, “amazing”, etc…, but they, nor I, can seem to put together a worthy description of how they felt. It is truly something that is undescribable.

I have known Randy for about 24 years. We met at The Citadel in Charleston, SC in 1985, were commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1989. We did our required basic and advanced flight training and were selected to fly F/A-18s. During our time in the Marine Corps, we both continued to achieve “measurable and attainable” goals; however Randy continued to keep his eye on the “DREAM” of becoming an astronaut and eventually making it into space. Not only did he make into space on the shuttle, but yesterday he stepped out of the shuttle and did a 6.5 hour space walk. So to put that in ultra marathon speak-I run a 50K in about 6.5 hours but for Randy, moving at 17,500 mph, I figure he covered about 113,750 miles; pretty good run.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to return to earth on Friday the 27th. I look forward to being able to visit Randy and his family sometime in the near future, raise a glass and toast an amazing milestone achievement. My prayers and thoughts are with Randy and his family, as well as with all the members of the Atlantis crew. Safe return and Happy landings. Run Strong!
Semper Fi and God Bless,
Huffer

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