May 17, 2008

Proud to be an American

When I was a but a lad, I wanted to be a fighter pilot. I contemplated the Navy, but didn't like boats (at the time). I therefore decided I was going to fly the brand new USAF F-15 Eagle. I read everything I could about the plane, but it didn't have a significant combat history. So I drifted to World War II planes to revel in stories of aerial combat. I day dreamed of flying the P-47 Thunderbolt, or the "Jug" as it was affectionately nicknamed. If you've ever watched me play video games, you'll know my speciality is defense. I love to defend in Counter Strike, etc., and I think that started when I was a kid. I always imagined that my squadron was responsible for defending the big B-17s and B-24 Liberators on their missions into Europe. The Jug could take a lickin and keep on tickin, and with eight machine guns, she was a beast. The plane turned out to be a great ground attack platform, but that's another story. I was reminded of my childhood dreams while running today. I look up in the sky and see a B-24 Liberator making slow, lazy patterns over the Silicon Valley. Ultra inspiring. That plane is probably ~ 64 years old. I remembered my childhood dreams of flying warplanes and in that moment was proud to be an American. That B-24 to me represents the era when America stepped into glory. We stepped out of isolationism and protected the world from the bad guys. My grandfather served in the Pacific, and my other grandfather's brother died on a mission over Europe. So many American families have tales of heroism from that era. Anyway, I hope today some young serviceperson looks up in Iraq, sees a F-15 Strike Eagle overhead, and is proud to be an American. I am so appreciative of the troops serving overseas, and thank you for what you are doing. You should not be there, but you are, and you are doing your job with aplomb and honor. You'll inspire another generation of kids who dreams of flying planes and beating back the bad guys...
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