|My father, Sgt. Raymond L. Gilbert, holding sister Kathy, I'm in the middle, and my mother, Dolly (Lyles) Gilbert is holding my brother Ricky (Raymond L. Jr.)|
|Major Robert L. Zabel, Jr. incognito, or ready to fly|
I spent eighteen years in the Air Force, from the time I was born on Randolph AFB, at that time outside of San Antonio, Texas, until my eighteenth birthday the summer after I graduated from high school in Limestone, Maine.
My father's military life began when his mother signed papers for him to enlist in what was then the Army-Air Corp and soon became the Air Force. He retired 25 years later. He served in the U.S., Okinawa, Guam, England, and Morocco. We joined him most places. He paid a high price to help keep our country free, and so did his family.
My older son, and middle child, Bob (Robert, Jr.) went through ROTC at Oklahoma State University and graduated as a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force. He served as a EWO (Electronic Warfare Officer) and flew in some dangerous situations. He put his life in danger so that we back home could stay free.
I'm proud that I'm the daughter and the mother of veterans, and I love them both. I lost my father many years ago, and he was a difficult man. However, he loved us in his way. My son is a good man and is loving. God bless him and keep him.