Throughout our lives we receive multiple gifts, many simply because we are loved. Whether private, commercial or military, aviators are given the gift of wings only if they earn the right and persist in a pursuit of perfecting the gift. My intent after posting several articles was to explain my vision for Remembered Sky. As in Ghosts of Christmas Past, it seemed a wiser choice to defer to those who’ve already said the words. And so, airplanes, adventure, mission, country and people.
The Airplane: A Gift of Wings by Richard Bach
And like no other sculpture in the history of art, the dead engine and dead airframe come to life at the touch of a human hand, and join their life with the pilot’s own.
The Adventure: Charles Lindberg
What kind of man would live where there is no daring? I don’t believe in taking foolish chances, but nothing can be accomplished without taking any chance at all.
The Mission: VMA 211 COMMANDER’S GUIDANCE FOR SQUADRON ATTACK PILOTS by Lt. Col. Chris “Otis” Raible (USMC, KIA 14 September, 2012)
Professional Hunger: My goal is to identify those Officers who want to be professional attack pilots and dedicate the resources required to build them into the flight leaders and instructors that are required for the long-term health of our community. This is not a socialist organization. We will not all be equal in terms of quals and flight hours. Some will advance faster than others, and because this is not a union, your rate of advancement will have nothing to do with seniority. Your rate of advancement will instead be determined by your hunger, professionalism, work ethic, and performance.
If flying jets and supporting Marines is your passion and your profession, you are in the right squadron.
The Country: Airships by Barry Hanna
I am the dragon, America the beautiful like you will never know
The People: These Good Men by Michael Norman
I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity.
I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the Military. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life.
They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another. I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships; those are the province of legend and myth. A few of my comrades drift far from me now, sending back only occasional word. I know that one day even these could fall to silence. Some of the men will stay close, a couple, perhaps, always at hand.
As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades…..such good men.
No matter what they might tell you, people do not enter into aviation by chance. Some may leave, but those that stay have dreamed and they come to comprehend the gift that came out of the dream. No matter what they might say this is where they want to be, what they really want to be doing – The Dreamers. So click here or go to the tab in the header, you won’t be sorry. I cannot “do” anymore, but my dreams are of real things, of events and of true friends, of hidden Scotch, of remembered sky and those in it.
My friends… we have not just dreamed… we have done… all this and more.