MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
Former 167th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Shawn Perkowski retired from military service Saturday, celebrating a 30-yer career of accomplishments and milestones.
Surrounded by family, friends and fellow Airmen, Perkowski commemorated his Air Force journey and began the ceremony with the National Anthem sung by his daughter, Julianna. West Virginia Assistant Adjutant General and fellow academy graduate Brig. Gen. Christopher S. Walker hosted the ceremony in the wing dining facility and reflected on his years of service with Perkowski and the vital leadership he provided to the wing.
Walker described Perkowski as part of the “iron skeleton of the organization” that successfully navigated the conversation from flying the C-5 Galaxy to the C-17 Globemaster in 2013. He commended Perkowski’s compassionate leadership as the wing commander and ability to care for the entire 167th family and ensure no Airman was left behind in the mission change as the legacy he leaves.
Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, thanked Perkowski for his service but also for never forgetting of his family throughout his career. Hoyer thanked Perkowski’s wife, Tiffany, and children, Luke, Julianna, Jacob, Veronica and Daniel and stressed the importance of their support and service also. Hoyer also said Perkowski epitomized the values of both the Army and the Air Force every day, both at the wing and at home.
“In my opinion, one of the best things we did was make you a leader in this organization because every day you lived them [values] but also set the example,” Hoyer said.
To conclude the ceremony, Perkowski shared his own thoughts, thanking his family and peers throughout his career. And he left the wing he led for five years with three closing thoughts.
“It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the negativity out there. In reality, there is much good in our families, churches, communities, and the Airmen and officers here at the 167th and the West Virginia Air National Guard. Be thankful for every moment. Spread a little sunshine, quietly focus on the positive.”
“Do not remember the sins of our youth and stupidity, remember us with our love.”
“My favorite definition of love doesn’t reference a feeling or emotion, but St. Thomas Aquinas has it as simply willing the good of the other.”