41 years, a benchmark placed

Retired U.S. Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon says his final farewells to his friends and co-workers at the interior-Alaska Air Guard wing where he finished 41 years of military service, here at Eielson AFB, Alaska June 29, 2016. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people and was held in the maintenance bay, which was Dixon???s home-away-from-home for almost 20 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

Retired U.S. Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon says his final farewells to his friends and co-workers at the interior-Alaska Air Guard wing where he finished 41 years of military service, here at Eielson AFB, Alaska June 29, 2016. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people and was held in the maintenance bay, which was Dixon's home-away-from-home for almost 20 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

Col. Bryan White, commander of the 168th Operations Group, Alaska Air National Guard, thanks Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon for his service and commitment to the mission and people of the interior-Alaska wing where Dixon finished his 41-year career, here at Eielson AFB, Alaska June 29, 2016. White remarked on the amount of hours he and Dixon had flown together in the KC-135 Stratotanker that was parked directly behind them, telling everyone in attendance that Dixon was leaving the unit a much better organization. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

Col. Bryan White, commander of the 168th Operations Group, Alaska Air National Guard, thanks Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon for his service and commitment to the mission and people of the interior-Alaska wing where Dixon finished his 41-year career, here at Eielson AFB, Alaska June 29, 2016. White remarked on the amount of hours he and Dixon had flown together in the KC-135 Stratotanker that was parked directly behind them, telling everyone in attendance that Dixon was leaving the unit a much better organization. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon reads his Presidential Letter if Appreciation during the retirement ceremony honoring 41 years of military service here at Eielson AFB, Alaska June 29, 2016. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people and was held in the maintenance bay that was Dixon???s home-away-from-home for almost 20 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon reads his Presidential Letter if Appreciation during the retirement ceremony honoring 41 years of military service here at Eielson AFB, Alaska June 29, 2016. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people and was held in the maintenance bay that was Dixon's home-away-from-home for almost 20 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

Retired Master Sgt. Lori Dixon pins the retirement pin on her husband Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon, former aircraft maintenance superintendent with the 168th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, during his retirement ceremony here at Eielson AFB, Alaska June 29, 2016. Dixon retired from military service after a 41-year career that spanned almost five decades, completing the last 20 years at this interior-Alaska installation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

Retired Master Sgt. Lori Dixon pins the retirement pin on her husband Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon, former aircraft maintenance superintendent with the 168th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, during his retirement ceremony here at Eielson AFB, Alaska June 29, 2016. Dixon retired from military service after a 41-year career that spanned almost five decades, completing the last 20 years at this interior-Alaska installation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

Staff Sgt. Chris Hartwick, a crew chief assigned to the 168th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, sings the National Anthem at a retirement ceremony honoring Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon???s 41 years of military service. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people and was held in the maintenance bay, which was Dixon???s home-away-from-home for almost 20 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

Staff Sgt. Chris Hartwick, a crew chief assigned to the 168th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, sings the National Anthem at a retirement ceremony honoring Chief Master Sgt. Bill Dixon's 41 years of military service. The ceremony was attended by more than 200 people and was held in the maintenance bay, which was Dixon's home-away-from-home for almost 20 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Paul Mann/Released)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- What can transpire in 41 seconds, or in minutes, days, weeks, months? How about in 41 years? Thinking about this in the terms of one man's service to a state and nation is what several Airmen pondered when they chose their words about Chief Master Sgt. William (Bill) Dixon with the 168th Wing here June 29 at the retirement ceremony honoring 41 years of military service.

The now retired aircraft maintenance superintendent said his final farewells to the men and women of his interior-Alaska Air Guard wing, where he served in more than eight maintenance group positions.

"He knows more about the jet than most of the people who write the technical data on them," said Master Sgt. Ray Allen, maintenance group crew chief.

Almost 200 service members, family, and friends, attended the ceremony held inside the maintenance bay, which was Dixon's home-away-from-home since 1988, when he accepted a full time position as a technical sergeant.

Taking into consideration all he had contributed, Chief Master Sgt. Phil Hunt, command chief said, "You see it in his bio [but], you don't understand what we're losing by losing Chief Dixon."

According to Dixon's biography, his knowledge of the KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft is what led to his being "hand-selected" to assist in the delivery of six aircraft to the Turkish Air Force.

In addition to that honor Dixon was a maintenance inspector with the Air National Guard Logistics Standardization Evaluation Program, and he augmented the Pacific Air Forces Inspector General Team, performing numerous operational readiness inspections.

"You and I have had a lot of hours in this plane together," said Col. Bryan White, operations group commander, referring to the KC-135 parked as a backdrop for the ceremony. "You've made this a much better organization, and we have people downrange in the fight right now flying the Alaska flag over hostile territory, and they are there as the best prepared, best qualified people in the business thanks to the legacy of people like you," said White.

Dixon thanked all of those who he had worked with and became friends with, as well as those who guided him.

Dixon presented his granddaughters, daughter and wife flowers and thanked them for their support and sacrifices, promising to not miss any more birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays.

"If I had it to do all over again, I would not change a single thing," said Dixon.