In the spring of 1992, Dad [Bernie Beldin] was made an offer he could not refuse.
He was a major in the United States Air Force, happy with his service but feeling the pressure to retire after 32 years combined enlisted/officer service. Because of his time in service, he felt his chances of making lieutenant colonel were slim in addition to the reduction in forces that President Clinton was proposing at the time.
However, he had always vowed he would not leave the service without a job waiting for him. His wish had just come true; he was offered a position by a contractor and, if accepted, would be working in the Federal Building in downtown Richland. He made an exploratory trip out to the Tri-Cities, flying into Portland, OR, so that he could drive through the Columbia Gorge which a friend had assured him would be a beautiful drive. He was impressed with the beauty of the area; he was interviewed and offered the job.
He moved to Richland in April, not yet retired from the service but taking leave and planning his retirement for the end of May. In August, Kris, [our son] joined him so that he would be able to begin his first year in high school at the school he would be attending for the next four years. Michelle, Ginger and I [our daughter, our dog and mom, Margie Beldin] remained in Lake Ridge, Virginia, awaiting the contract renewal with the firm Dad/Bernie had just joined - no contract, no job, no reason to move us all to the Tri-Cities. Fortunately, in October, their contract was renewed and our family was reunited by the end of October, 1992. We were all finally together in Richland, Washington.
The housing market was so bad at the time, with only 72 houses on the MLS, we decided to purchase property and build our dream home. Fourteen months later, in December, 1993, we moved into our dream home and have enjoyed living here, in the Tri-Citites, ever since.