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114th Logo114th Aviation Company Association

 


From the Desk of....

Charlie Brown
114th National Director

May 29, 2000

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 a MedEvac.

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 demanded.

The Supply types and the Company Clerk all did all that was asked and more. The Armorers who repaired the weapons and invented better ones.

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 made of.

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 are!"

KNIGHTS OF THE AIR, YOU ARE MY HEROES!
ALWAYS 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 good! 

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?) 

Memorial Stone at factory
(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 age. 

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! 

Charlie Brown
Gold Knight 3 and
Charlie Brown Control


 

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