Marti and I took a break from our incoming grandbaby watch to fly to Jacksonville, FL for the retirement ceremony of my best friend and former partner in the Coast Guard Investigative Service, CWO4 Ron Cerino, USCG. He retired after 30 years in the U.S. Coast Guard and the ceremony was to honor and remember his service.
Many of my old Coast Guard friends were there in attendance, including the former Chaplin of the Coast Guard, Monsignor Cuddy, who gave the invocation, and as usual, had us all cracking up with his Irish humor,
to another great friend and special agent buddy, CWO4 Scott Miles, USCG, who was the Master of Ceremonies.
The Distinguished Guest and Keynote Speaker was Retired Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thad Allen, whom we all had worked for as part of his protection detail. He gave a great speech and had us all laughing recalling great moments and some not so great moments in Ron’s career.
Ron’s kids all took a turn, too, to speak and tell how much of an impact he had on their lives and how much they appreciated his love and guidance over the years.
Then came a major surprise…for me. Ron stopped his ceremony and called me up to the front, to honor me and our time serving together. We spent years working as a team and had adventures that took us all over the world. We always joked that we spent more time with each other than our own wives.
He then presented me with a Shadow Box that contained my awards and insignia that I had earned and wore over the years during my career. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I never was able to have a retirement ceremony at the end of my career.
It was a total surprise and an honor to be so recognized. I admit I got very choked up.
The whole idea cooked up by Ron and his wife, Amy, (also know as CWO4 Amy Cerino, USCG, pictured here in civilian clothes),
in collusion with my son, Chief Petty Officer Ryan Dahl, USCG, my other son Corey, my daughter Heather and of course, Marti.
Amy conspired with Ryan to have the flag flown over his cutter, the USCGC CHEYANNE,
while Marti and Heather raided my uniform stored at Heather’s house for some of the pins which they sent to Amy. Ron and Amy obtained the box and many other pins and ribbons and assembled the whole thing, without my knowledge.
I was so blown away. I’ve also grounded Ryan, Heather, Corey and Marti for being so sneaky.
After the ceremony, there was a fantastic reception, topped off with a cake representing Ron’s uniform shirt, along with a second cake in the shape of a Honey Badger.
It was delicious!
We got many of the gang together for a group photo, it was many years since we’ve all been together.
Truly a wonderful day and one that I’ll never forget. Now Ron and Amy along with Marti and I are going to plan some RV trips together. Yep, they have a 28 foot Class C that they love to travel in! :c)
Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.
Paul that is a great post! Congratulations to both you and your friend on your many years of service.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad that you and Marti were able to attend the retirement ceremony.
In the picture of you holding the shadow box I detect the deer in the headlights look. I think they got you good. To both you and Ron, thanks so much for your service. Even an old Navy guy admirers what you have done.ReplyDelete
From the deer in the headlights look like John said to the choked up look shows the surprise on your face. You definitely earned the Honor. Be Safe and Enjoy!ReplyDelete
It's about time.
Congratulations to you and Ron!!! Thank you both for your service! Really a wonderful surprise that we know meant a great deal to you and those who were able to surprise you:o))ReplyDelete
I'm blown away just reading that. What a special time that was for you and what a wonderful friend you have. Good friends don't come often in a lifetime. You really found a gem in him and him in you! Great post!ReplyDelete
Congratulations, so great that you were able to attend this great event.ReplyDelete
How wonderful of them all. You have a terrific group of family and friends. Congratulations to you and to Ron.ReplyDelete
What a lovely gesture ... and meaningful all the more because it was your former partner. Congratulations to you both.ReplyDelete
What a great post about the day! It was so cool of them all to surprise you like that, something you'll never forget! Now to find a place to hang it in the RV :)ReplyDelete
Great post! You sure do look surprised and pleased at the same time. What a wonderful way to honor you and your friend. Those cakes are hilarious...not sure I could cut into the honey badger!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful surprise for you. You certainly looked proud with your chest all puffed up! How nice of your special friend to include you in his special day. I have a special place in my heart for all the CG.ReplyDelete
Thank you all for your service (and saving our life)
Wow. How cool is that? Congratulations on a great career. Darned good thing you went to that ceremony!ReplyDelete
What a cool surprise and deserving honor! Congratulations to you both!ReplyDelete
OH how cool...for both of you, but I am especially pleased for you.ReplyDelete
Wow, wow, wow! I can only imagine how surprised you must have been. That was really good how your family all kept it a secret. Something I could never do. Congratulations and many thanks to you, your friend, and all those who serve.ReplyDelete
WOW, Great! What a great surprise given for you both by your families! Congrats to you both!ReplyDelete
I enjoy all your post and i am a follower of your blog. I wish you to visit my blog and be a member of mine!
Very nice. Congratulations to you both, and thank you for your service. That shirt cake looks good but I am not sure I would want to eat the Honey Badger.ReplyDelete
Fantastic! And congratulations! What a great tribute to you and a whole host of dignitaries there to honor your friend and you! Very impressive and a wonderful day for you both. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Congrats, what a wonderful, deserving surprise and a great honor!ReplyDelete
Great pics of all the festivities.
Looks like a great send off!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful surprise and a great honor...for both of you. Friends like that are truly special.ReplyDelete
How often are they able to surprise a seasoned investigator?ReplyDelete
Congratulations, that was a wonderful surprised for you.ReplyDelete
Congratulations Paul, what a great surprise.ReplyDelete
What a great day! And to finish it off with two cakes...perfect. Congrats!ReplyDelete
Great post!! I know Ron very well. I'm an IVC at the Jax RAO. Wish I made that party but was out of town.ReplyDelete