SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A raise in salary is a nice moment in one’s career. So is a move to a better department, and especially a promotion.
One of the best moments to happen in one Sheppard AFB Airman’s career occurred on Feb. 28, 2020, when he proudly stood in front of his grandfather, a veteran of World War II, and advanced in rank.
Staff Sgt. Joe Jones promoted to technical sergeant in front of his squadron and a few special guests, some of whom haven’t seen him since basic training.
“Him being here is way more special than any stripe I have,” Tech. Sgt. Jones said. “It’s a really good opportunity since he’s 96. It’s just amazing. The first time he’s seen me promote was in basic training. This is going to be on the top of my Air Force career.”
Jones is referring to his grandfather, retired Army Capt. Joe Jones, who came out to see his grandson to promote with an entourage of other family members.
Capt. Jones was part of Gen. George Patton’s Third Army in France, Austria and Germany. Serving in the 71st Division, 14th Infantry, Company B, Capt. Jones was the leader of a rifle platoon and later a weapons platoon, consisting of three light machine guns and three 60mm mortars. Capt. Jones first saw combat action in Bitche, France.
When asked about his grandson serving in the Air Force, the veteran still answers with his Army spirit.
“Y’all got it made!” Jones said. “I may join the Air Force myself. I’m very proud of him.”
Capt. Jones expressed his pride for his grandson in playful ways. He said at first he didn’t expect his grandson to even graduate basic training, let alone make it to technical sergeant. But with all joking aside, he said once his grandson got through basic training, he knew he could make it all the way.
Tech. Sgt. Jones, who works in the 80th Flying Training Wing’s flight records section, invited his grandfather and family to Sheppard to join him in his promotion. They were also given a tour of the 80th FTW before the ceremony. After the ceremony, members of the 80th FTW spoke with the elder Jones to hear some of his stories first hand before they return home.
“He loves being around everybody in uniform,” the younger Jones said. “He’s also starting to talk a lot about his war stories and I thought it’d be special to get everybody to hear it from him.”
With two generations of the Joneses having served, we can’t wait for new heroes and stories to come from our military families.