Generations of pride for Libby family

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jodi Martinez
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Libby, 618th Air Operation Center’s first sergeant, is no stranger to the word patriotism. Since he was a child, he has proudly called himself an American and has carried the nation’s flag, folded snugly in a triangular case, everywhere he has gone.

It has seen every conflict he has seen, and it has traveled the world like him too. That patriotism stems from his rich past, which is filled with a bloodline of men who have fought for this country. And now, it’s bleeding into his future.

Libby’s son, Michael, sits in a chair next to his father’s desk at work.

He wears a crisp Army uniform, freshly patched with the rank of private that displays how he followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the military.

“He never pushed me to join the military or the Air Force,” said Michael. “He always just wanted me to be happy. I ended up joining, and it was the best thing I ever did for myself.”

Michael joined the Army as an armorer in November 2015, completed Airborne School and is on his way to his first duty station at Ft. Richardson, Alaska.

“One of the proudest moments in my life was the day I had the privilege to pin jump wings on the chest of my son,” said Libby. “When I do decide to hang up my uniform for the last time and reintegrate into civilian life, I will do so knowing that the safety of our nation will be placed in the capable hands of the next generation of Libbys.”

Libby’s relatives have served in every armed conflict, starting from the Revolutionary War. His bloodline, which stretches back 100 years before America became a nation, has served in every branch, to include the Coast Guard.

“The Libby men have made me adopt a sense of patriotism uncommon to many non-military families,” said Libby. “Libbys like my great, great grandfather William served in a militia fighting for the unification of our country during the Civil War.”

The real surprise: William was only 12 years old at the time. After he was kicked out of the militia due to his age, he moved just two counties over and joined another. There, he served as a drummer, helping to steady the march of the soldiers on the front lines. Years later, his son, William H. Libby, served as a Merchant Seaman during World War I.

Libby’s grandfather, Haslin Libby, served with the 94th Infantry Division, fought in Europe at the Battle of the Bulge and the Siegfried Line, and received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.

His father, Kenneth Libby, served in the Air Force as a dental technician, spending most of his time behind the lines in Thailand during the Vietnam War.

Libby’s brother and many of his cousins have also sworn to defend this nation, creating an expansive example of service. Now, Libby says the torch has been passed to his son.

Michael admits that his values come from his father, and he plans to instill them in his children. And to Libby, he values respect, patriotism, and hard work because that is what he was taught as a child.

Libby has served in the United States Air Force for over 23 years now. He has deployed to Turkey, completed two tours in Iraq, where he served in military intelligence, and served in Jordan in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. He doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon, but he will never forget to look back and remember where he came from.

Libby looks down at his hands, holding a picture of his great grandfather, and says, “He’s the greatest man I ever knew.”

Then he looks away from the picture and at Michael, still sitting in a chair next to an American flag. For a moment, they stare at each other.

Finally, he says, “And my son is the greatest man I will ever know.”