Today is Wednesday, the week headed up to the most celebrated holiday of our country, Independence Day.
As I ran near Hill AFB, Utah. I found myself thinking about several things during my run, among them were the fact someone who spent the past 32 yrs associated with the military…”How did I miss the amazing sound of freedom so close growing up?”
I remember watching the blue angels, and the thunderbirds growing up the way they seemed so cool, flying with precision, and the smoke tails that filled the sky.
Joining the Airforce at 23; initially, I couldn’t stop looking toward the skies as the military planes flew over; which at my base, was the A10 warthog.
These planes flew close and were not loud like the F16 fighter jets. Yet what I realized during Desert Storm, was that they would be instrumental in the ground war support. Taking out tanks and convoys. Each plane had its own specific purpose. I wanted to know more the about the airplanes to include, F15s, F16s, F18s, KC135, Blackhawks and Apaches helicopters and B2 bombers…the list goes on. I would eventually realize how each plane made its own impact toward the Freedom we all enjoy.
Running near a runway on Wednesday I realized as F15 fighter jets were taking off; I thought about neighbors along the way in AZ, Nevada and countries I lived in like Okinawa, Italy, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. My neighbors would complain about the loud noise that the aircraft would make. I would just listen, and remind myself about the part they play in not only our countries freedom, but many others as well.
Thank God my run was longer and allowed me to think about the upcoming holiday and how I always feel about the freedom I have learned to love.
As I continued on my run, I thought about one particular neighbor in Tucson AZ. which I had lived in for 11 yrs and considered myself a Lokal.
This neighbor didn’t like the military, and complained that her days have always been so filled with that horrible noise in the sky. I didn’t really think about what noise she was talking about as to me the sounds had become so indigenous to my life, and my thought about freedom.
During Desert Storm, I was on the flightline one night and my job for the evening was to sweep rocks off the runway and make sure planes wouldn’t get them sucked up into their engines. I was taking a 30 minute rest and after long nights of working on airfields or roads that led our ammo trucks to the flightline, I desperately needed the 30 minute nap. My friend woke me up and said that an F4….which is basically a flying tank, was shot up real bad and they were going to eject over the runway. It would be my job to go find the canopy and bring it back to the bldg. The airtraffic controllers told the pilots to eject, and as I walked toward my sweeper. I noticed the canopy laying a mere 6 feet away. I pulled it toward the bldg and waited for our pilots to be recovered and brought back to the bldg for a debrief.
We all sat there discussing how they flew over the oil fields of Iraq, and would take out enemy tanks and such…just then someone came in hollering for us to take cover as an Iraqi scud had just hit the airfield as he arrived. We all took cover and waited for instruction. What we didn’t realize, was the scud wasn’t actually a scud but in fact the unmanned F4 phantom that the pilots ejected from earlier. On a one way ticket to the surrounding land near the runway.
Through the years I enjoyed hearing stories from Veterans, and those who appreciate that sound of freedom flying overhead.
Today is now Saturday the 3rd of July, I was lucky enough to be invited to be in a parade in small town America, which is close to Hil AFB, Utah. A very proud military community.
It was quaint, and fun and to see families, and children in streets, enjoying their Independence Day. I smiled seeing how so many Americans in a small town community forgot about politics, and pandemics, to simply enjoy everything this country stands for.
I will always enjoy the sound of aircraft overhead from Airforce Bases, and knowing without them protecting this very country we all live in, and know the sound they create in a country I’m Lokal to is the SOUND OF FREEDOM