Sam Johnson, Colonel Retired, and a core member of the ShotStop team, shared this story from this past weekend:
Our family has a long track record of service to the US Army and the Airborne community. My Father, COL Charlie Johnson served for 26 years in a variety of Airborne assignments and was a Master Parachutist who was always proud to be known as a Paratrooper. He graduated from Airborne school in 1955 and the wings he earned that day were very proudly worn on his uniform until he earned his senior wings and ultimately his Master Parachutist Wings. Like my Father, I earned the privilege of being called a Paratrooper in 1982 and to my surprise, my Father attended my graduation and pinned his basic Airborne wings on my chest which I proudly wore for years until I also earned my senior wings and then Master Parachutist Wings. After 31 years of service, I retired those wings to the top shelf of my closet thinking that they would only be a reminder of the special bond I had with my Father. What makes the 22nd of March so very special for our family, is that my son, Bradley, graduated from basic Airborne school on that day, and that I was there to pin that same set of wings earned by my Father in 1955 on his chest. When he walked off of the drop zone that day, he was wearing wings worn in our family while proudly serving as Airborne Paratroopers to the United States Army for over 57 years!