Hello everyone, I’m Christopher “Patches” Norton and I served in the US Air Force for 20 years as a Loadmaster and retired at the rank of Master Sergeant. What an honor it was to serve my country! I began my career as a 91B – Combat Medic in the Army National Guard, Charlie Company (Brigade Support Medical Company) in St Martinville, Louisiana while I was still in High School. I guess you can say I’ve always wanted to serve.

Growing up in a small town, there was no money for me to go to college and I saw the armed forces as a real way out. I knew I needed to get the hell out of that small town!

It was the right decision and I knew that immediately but what sealed the deal was being in Cairo, Egypt in May 1987 less than 1 year out of High School.

My Army career only lasted for 8 months before I decided to become an Air Force Loadmaster and that’s when the true adventure began. During my 20 years I had the chance to serve in one way or another in every conflict or war between 1986 and 2006.

From there it just got better. I was traveling the world like crazy as a C-141 Loadmaster all over the world on a weekly basis. Literally, one basic trip would take me to England, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Greece, and Italy in just 8 days. My next trip might be Embassy support in South America, which would normally run me through Panama, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and then a stop back through Panama on the way home.

Between trips overseas I would normally fly at least one trip to a near by state where there would be an Army base to practice personnel and heavy equipment airdrop. We even got some flying time to the Desert swapping out troops or bringing them home which I did a lot of during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

This is what a basic month as a C-141 Loadmaster would look like so you can visualize why my life has been such an adventure.