KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
In 2015, the 334th Training Squadron dedicated a conference room inside Cody Hall to retired Col. Derrel Dempsey who served in the Air Force from 1954 – 1984 and accomplished a lot in his 30 year Air Force career.
The grandson of Dempsey, 2nd Lt. Kiefer Luth, 57th Operation Support Squadron airfield operations officer, had the honor of graduating inside the same room dedicated to his grandfather inside of Cody Hall, here, Nov. 8.
“It is surreal to graduate in a room dedicated to my grandfather and his achievements,” said Kiefer. “My grandfather was a reason I joined and is a role model for me as a person and an airman.”
Attending the graduation, Tamera S. Luth, daughter of Dempsey and mother of Kiefer, entered the room for the first time at her son’s graduation.
“This room resembles my father and what he endeavored,” said Tamera, “He felt the day this room was named after him was the greatest day in his life. This room was such an honor for my dad and my family.”
Tamera doesn’t just remember Dempsey for his accomplishments. She remembers him as a great father.
“To the five of us kids, he was just dad,” said Tamera. “Our dad carried a flight bag and a helmet to work and in our minds, all dads did that. Today, I am still learning about how incredible of a person and airman he was.”
Tamera’s close relationship with her father allowed Kiefer to grow up with another role model. She expresses her pride for her son and her contentment with their Air Force careers.
“My son’s graduation is everything to us,” said Tamera. “My son looked up to his grandfather, and he continues to inspire him. I can’t put into words what seeing him follow in his footsteps means to me.”
Kiefer feels proud to continue his grandfather’s legacy in the Air Force.
“It is an honor to follow my grandfather,” said Kiefer. “There is nothing I would rather be doing than this. I am excited to start my job.”