Politics can be ugly. The mix of military and politics can be even uglier. But as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, I found myself in the middle of one of the most beautiful collaborations between those two entities: the presidential inauguration. When Barack Obama was first sworn in as America's president on that historic day in 2009, I was lucky enough to be there, and it had nothing to do with where I had cast my vote. I wasn't among the million people packed onto the Mall or among the powerful people seated on the platform. I was just inside the doors to the Capitol Building where America's new president was waiting to walk out and swear his allegiance to his fellow Americans and the Constitution. Politics aside, being inside the Capitol on such a day was extraordinary. My job had been to write the announcer's script for the president's swearing-in ceremony, which gave me an incredible spot to witness history. Here are two stories that give a look behind the scenes on Obama's big day.
So Help Me God, a reflection on a historic presidential inauguration
Inauguration Day: An Insider's View, written for the United States Air Force
US Air Force Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Meneguin
Photo by Callie Shell