Every Day is a Memorial Day

I woke up this morning to freedom. Freedom to go back to hit the alarm snooze button or enjoy a weekend walk with my partner, his family who love me as well as with our rambunctious brood of four-legged family members. I chose to spend time with the ones I care deeply about, including our Nation’s heroes.

I have the distinct honor to work for the USO whose mission is to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families. I have the opportunity to work directly with our troops at NAS Pensacola, many of whom are furthering their education to be aviation mechanics, aircraft carrier support, and many, many other specialties who directly serve to protect our freedom. It’s nothing but phenomenal, really. These are young men and women who pass through our USO center seeking respite from the arduous physical training they endure on a daily basis to sharpen their skills to become a member of the most elite military in the world.

Thank you.

My favorite part of my job is getting to know the troops. Where they’re from and how they’ve never experienced a community as welcoming as Pensacola. (Aside from the double and triple digit temperatures and humidity index). They take it all in stride because the light at the end of the tunnel for them is the pride they get from wearing a uniform that has a universal meaning of freedom, pride and accomplishment. These brave men and women are doing something I wasn’t destined to do; however, without question, they salute our American flag, expertly represent their country and, most of all, fight for our freedom.

Exposed to a sea of uniformed troops; getting to work early enough to hear our National Anthem played across the site of the Nation’s Cradle of Navy Aviation, my purpose to serve our troops is constantly renewed.

When you are hosting an outdoor barbecue or enjoying time on your day off on a boat off Pensacola’s pristine coastline or elsewhere, always, ALWAYS remember the beautiful souls who gave themselves up for that freedom.

Not only should every day be Memorial Day, but it should be a day of remembrance and celebration of Memorial Days to come.

A million “thank you’s” for protecting our freedom. I wholeheartedly speak for the rest of the passionate Pensacola community in saying welcome to our city, our home, until you find another home in the confident hopes you’ll receive the warmest of welcomes for providing us our freedom. We absolutely could not do it without you.

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If you don’t expect too much from me, you might not be let down

That headline isn’t really true. I’m generally very reliable (are you allowed to have two qualifiers like that? “Generally” and “Very?” I’m going with it). I’m just a consistently inconsistent blogger. Much like darts and pool but not horseshoes. I’m always terrible at horseshoes. It’s also just occurred to me that,other than my friends, the readers don’t know much about me. We’ll get to that later. But first…

Where the hell have I been?

Truth is, I’m a busy guy. Probably too busy for my own good, but I have relegated myself to the fact that this will never change and that life is too short not to be involved with things that you love. In fact, I’ll have some exciting news that I’ll be sharing soon, so stay tuned. I’m the incoming Curriculum Co-Chair for the 2014-15 Leadership Pensacola, a program of the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce. Eesh, thank goodness we don’t get business cards. That’s a two year commitment but I am so stoked for the opportunity to serve with the Chamber and some pretty awesome folks.

Since April 1, I’ve performed two marriages. One of the couples, to whom I am very close, was actually on April 1 because that was the anniversary of the couple’s first date. Ten years prior. Hey, nothing wrong with making sure it’s right. The next was a couple was one who contacted me through another wedding I performed last November. So far I’m 3 for 3 in successful marriages, but the most recent couple is still on their honeymoon.

We’re about to start renovations to the house. Like, major kitchen, foyer and home office renovations. As in, we’re adding a foyer and home office to the house. Luckily the house came with the kitchen, so we’re good there. My partner Matthew (which I believe is the first time I’ve mentioned him in the blog) has been coordinating with the contractor (earning him one of his many, many halos waiting for him in Heaven). I actually forgot what I was going to say specifically about him because I got derailed mentioning his inaugural appearance in this blog. Don’t worry, there will be more stories to come, most likely dripping with self deprecation.

My job at the USO as Center Operations Supervisor is going great. I’ll write soon about what a typical day is for me at work serving the troops aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Man this is ramble fest. OH! I’m going to Hangout Fest next month with my friend KC. Be on the lookout for an obnoxious bevy of photos.

Find me on Twitter @breezerbeej. “Wow, that’s a weird name.” For reference, please read this blog.

 

TTFN

What’s in a name and other clichés

I’ve always dreamed of a time when I could direct people to one single location that explains my name. My dream has come true.

Here goes.

I have the distinct honor to be named after my father, Bradley Nolan Davis, Sr., making me a junior, obviously. So, we take the initials of Bradley Jr. and we get B.J. But please, if you’re mentioning me using MLA format, please be sure to add the extra space after the first period. B.(space)J. Otherwise you’ll get counted off for misspelling that name on a college Contemporary American Literature paper. True story. Thank you, Dr. Dews. OR, instead of succumbing to the English “Man,” in this case Dr. Dews, you could always create a nickname for a nickname, such as “Beej.”

Now, I speak to two generations when I reference this nickname version .0 – one being that generation who recalls the 1970s hit TV show M.A.S.H. (Oops, sorry Dr. Dews, “M.(space)A.(space)S.(space)H.”) Remember the verbose, lovable character Capt. B.(space)J. Hunnicut? Well, sometimes he was referred to as Beej.

Then there’s Generation Y-ish who may recall the hit TV show Full House, which it wasn’t until it went solely into syndication that I got the double entendre. There was Donna Jo, a.k.a. D.(space)J., the eldest daughter of the family with three dads (take THAT Staci Keanan) who I’m pretty sure went by Deej more often than she even went by the D.(space)J.

So there you have it folks. I hope this dispels any confusion much like with that kid I went to high school with who went from Carl to Randy mid year sophomore year with ZERO explanation. I guess that’s the year in school when you really find yourself.

Now, there’s elephant in the room about either the name B.(space)J. or Beej. I’ll address it now because I know it’s been on your mind this whole time. I know you’re wondering, “Oh I can’t take it anymore! When is he just going to say what’s on everyone’s mind?” Okay, well, this is the thing: yes, my parents completely lacked any semblance of creativity while naming me by just interchanging a “Sr.” with a “Jr.” I know, people have joked with me all my life. There has been sniggering in classes the first day of school when the teacher states, “Please let me know if you prefer to be called something other than your legal name.” It got soooo old. I mean, it’s like they KNOW I was named after my father when I raised my hand and proudly stated “I prefer B.J. or Beej, please.” I can hear the immature laughter now. I always wanted to say to them, “Yeah, well at least I’m not named after my mother.” Who, incidentally had the maiden name of O’Brien and I could have been nicknamed O.J.

Now THAT would have been a nightmare.

And so it begins…

Taking a quick break from my job as Center Operations Supervisor at the USO of Northwest Florida to pop a little something up on my new blog. A blog that is way overdue, but I’ll still reserve the right to be as grammatically “creative” as I want for the time being, at least until someone starts calling me on it. We welcome all kinds here.

A huge shout out to my friends Anne, Erin, Richard and Michelle (and in spirit Teresa, but that’s usually the case…but she can show up with an incredible Friendship Bread recipe like you wouldn’t believe) for inspiring me to get this off the ground. And when I say “inspire,” I mean tell me GoDaddy is for deviants, and it’s not necessary for me to have my name in the title of the blog. I love you all.

OK, kiddos, back to work. Talk soon. LYMI

-Beej