A South Carolina helicopter pilot formerly stationed at McEntire Joint National Guard base flew his final flight before retiring today, and he took a very special guest with him -- his dad.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3) Joseph Shiver Jr. is retiring from the U.S. Army after 20 years of service.
"This is my last flight as an army aviator," Shiver Jr. said.
Although he is stationed in Georgia now, the South Carolina native flew his last flight to the Palmetto State.
"I decided to come fly back to my roots where I started my aviation career," Shiver Jr. said.
To accompany him, he brought along the man who started his career with him -- his father.
"This is very special," Shiver Jr. said.
Shiver Jr. says his dad, Joseph Shiver Sr., got him interested in aviation at a young age. After he graduated from flight school, he and his dad worked in the same unit at McEntire Joint National Guard Base but never got the chance to fly together. After a few years at McEntire, Shiver Sr. retired and Shiver Jr. relocated.
"I called him up and I said, 'Dad, I want you to fly with me on my last flight, because you started my career and I want you to end my career with me,'" Shiver Jr. said.
They stopped to eat lunch at nearby restaurant Mr. Bunky's.
"He's done a good job, good career," Shiver Sr. said.
Shiver Sr. says his son has made him one proud father.
"He's just like dad, dad was a smart man, he's also smart," Shiver Sr. joked.
"It was great looking back at him and just seeing all the stuff I do," Shiver Jr. said.
Shiver Jr. says he could not have asked for a more perfect ending to his career.
"He's always wanted to fly with me so I'm just proud they allowed this to happen for me and my dad," Shiver Jr. said.
Shiver also flew over his family home in Gaston to give dad an aerial view. Shiver Sr. was a Staff Sergeant doing sheet metal work for the 1-151st attack reconnaissance battalion out of McEntire Joint National Guard Base.