|From the Desk of....
Today marks another Memorial Day, for some of us 37 years since
we were "in country" and for the youngest, 25 years.
Times goes by and for most of us memories fade. But not the
memories we share of times and faces, stories and places. Heroism is
often associated with single events, of offering all and too often,
paying that horrendous price.
Heroism to me is reflected by those, certainly. But in just as
great a sense in those who did the job day after day, never asking
for praise and to seldom getting enough.
The Peter pilots who became, all to quickly, Co-Pilots and
Aircraft Commanders. The Crew Chief who flew all day protecting the
flank with his M-60 and maintained the "Bird" all night so that it,
and we, had a better chance of making it back from tomorrowís
mission. There was always a mission tomorrow. The Door Gunner who
covered us in flight from the other flank, who serviced the weapons
after the mission then returned to help his Crewchief take care of
the "Bird". And who over and over became so proficient as to serve
another tour as a Crewchief himself.
The Doctors and their medics who were always there, whether
"there" was in the dispensary, on the flight line or in the field on
The Air Force Weather Detachment who remained with us planning
long into the night to insure the latest available information for
the long days and longer nights as those missions so often
The Supply types and the Company Clerk all did all that was asked
and more. The Armorers who repaired the weapons and invented better
The Operations personnel, clerks and NCOs who put it all together
giving us the tools of our trade so that we could get in and out
with no delay and little confusion, the stuff that casualties were
Who doesnít remember "Cookie" and his folks appearing after a
long day with hot coffee and sandwiches? Or the special meal on
Sunday or holidays? The motor pool and the work they performed to
keep the rolling stock moving and the Control Tower where there was
a comforting voice no matter what time we had the "People Sniffer"
mission. Or flare ship or counter mortar or and on and on.
There was not a man there who couldnít be counted on or on whom
each of us didnít count. Wasnít it glorious to have 100% confidence
that if we should catch the unlucky round that our wing-man would be
touching down beside us as we autorotated?
And having "Road Service" to repair sick or broken birds wherever
we were. They were nothing short of miraculous in the work they did
and the conditions they did it under. And to do TIís over night? And
really do it!
To use a phrase from Sister Margaret, "I know who my heroes
KNIGHTS OF THE AIR, YOU ARE MY HEROES!
WERE AND ALWAYS WILL BE
In a few hours Memorial Day 2000 will be behind us but
will never be forgotten. I want extend the appreciation of all of
the Knights to all those who made the ceremony at Cordele so
memorable. By last count there were 28 of our members physically
present along with the 1372 not able to make it for so many reasons.
And let us not forget to mention the sprits of all those who went
before us. You and I know that they were all present as
well!Tom Nesbitt, you did
The Aircraft itself was an
enormous undertaking. To add the Memorial was spooning up some real
desert. Putting together the ceremony was truly the icing on the
cake! I know that Iíll forget someone who lent support and more, and
Iím certain that I donít even know many who stepped forward. (Isnít
that always the way it was?)
(Ready for shipping)
Knowing that, I want to give thanks to Terry Dell who
verbalized your enthusiasm, serving as your voice until you found we
really would listen to you. To Ed Briggs whose effort and knowledge
made the task affordable and probably possible. To Butch King (great
to have a General, Butch, but even better to have a Knight!) It was
great of you to step up to take the dais. Finally to George (Knight
6) Young for making the effort you did to remember our troops.
Actually George, I think it did you a world of good as well, as you
sounded better yesterday than I have heard you in a coonís
And to all the rest, Beaucoup, Claus, Bailey and all
who served behind the lines including our senior cheerleader, David
"Hotdog" Weiner, our thanks.
Back to Tom: I can just imagine your greeting when it
is finally time for you to go to the "final muster". The guys are
going to really pull your chain. Trying to tell us how reticent and
retiring you are, then calling in favors from those you know and
those you donít, from Guard, Reserve and Active Units, State Offices
and even the Pentagon!
Yeah, you sure are retiring! A final ATTA-BOY, Tom.
Greatly appreciated by all!
Gold Knight 3 and