Where our boots have taken us

  • Published
  • By Tammy Santis
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Many nights I shuffle home from work, kick off my high heeled shoes, and stumble over my husband’s combat boots. At those times, I often ask myself, “Where have his combat boots taken him?” I know exactly where my combat boots have taken me.

In 1992, I was a bright-eyed 20-year-old woman with exciting goals for my future, yet I didn’t realize that boots were going to mold me into the person I am today.

I joined the Air Force in March 1992, scared and, I thought, alone. I met my first pair of boots. They offered comfort, stability and a place for me to call home. It was amazing that no matter what happened during those six weeks of basic training, those boots remained my constant companion, no matter where they sat.

In September 1992, I was off to Osan Air Base, Korea, where once again the scenery changed and the boots remained the same, a safe haven. They were my life line to home and friends, something to help me guard our great nation and help keep our flag flown freely. These boots were polished and loved like a member of my family and they traveled with me to far away lands and back home again. If those boots hadn’t have taken me to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I met my husband in those boots, and it’s funny to look back now, but my boots were shinier than his, but his had seen much more than mine.

Just where have those boots taken me? I am no longer serving my country in the military, but my husband does. His boots have taken the lead and steadied our family through many changes, yet when I see those boots, I know I’m home. His boots have guided his life and mine. His boots have walked the streets of Iraq and the beaches of Diego Garcia, they have seen brothers and sisters in arms fall and our great nation triumph. His boots have defended our nation, and now his boots will soon retire.
Where will those boots go when their work is done? They will sit by the door of our home awaiting a new adventure.

Of course, it will probably be a trip to the zoo or mowing the lawn, but those boots will never be forgotten. They hold the memories of a young man, a young woman, both triumph and tears, and now those boots have taken us home.