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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.
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Now displaying: November, 2021
Nov 29, 2021

Just then, the apartment door opened.

I heard a soft-spoken female voice, “Tadaima!”

“Miyako is here, and she brought our lawyer from the airport,” Tom remarked.

A very attractive Japanese lady entered the room, walked right up to me, held out her hand, and bowed slightly. I had expected her to be wearing a kimono, but she was wearing a conservative, grey dress.

She had a slight accent, “I'm Miyako. Thank you for saving my husband's life!” She gripped my hand with both of hers.

“It's a real pleasure to meet you, Miyako. I'm not so sure I saved his life, but I'm glad I was there to help.”

Tom interjected, “Here comes my lawyer.”

A gorgeous Eurasian woman, about my age, entered the room, rushed over to Tom, and hugged him. “Daddy!”

Tom hugged her back, then introduced me, “Samantha, this is the Hamilton I've been telling you about.”

She held out her hand. “Call me Sam.”

I shook her hand, and said, “Sam, it's a real pleasure to meet you. I'm Ham.”

“Sam I'm Ham,” she responded, “sounds like we're reading a Doctor Seuss book.”

Tom beamed. “That's my girl. Sharp as a whip. She finished at the top of her class at Harvard Law School last month. We're so proud of her.”

Sam appeared to blush.

“Now,” Tom said, “let's go have a great dinner. Do you like steak?”

He didn't have to ask me a second time.

While I put on my suit and tied my tie, Tom changed to an equally outstanding outfit. We all got into the car, and Tom said something in Japanese to the driver.

“The absolute best steak in Tokyo is at the Misono Steak House, in Akasaka,” Tom announced.

We drove through narrow streets for about a half hour, and pulled up outside a small restaurant front.

We went into a dimly-lit, elegant restaurant, and sat at a table with a large skillet built into the surface. Tom and Miyako sat on one side of the table, and Sam sat next to me, on my right. I think she purposely positioned herself there to help me with my chopsticks if I had trouble. A chef appeared with four thick steaks, some shrimp, and an assortment of vegetables, and he proceeded to cook them in front of us. He put on an incredible performance, slicing and dicing the steaks and then tossing the pieces of meat over his head and catching them in the rice bowls in front of each of us.

“This is Kobe beef,” Tom explained. “Every minute of their lives these animals are massaged, and they're fed beer all day long. The meat is tender enough to cut between your chopsticks. You'll see.”

“And, by the way,” he continued, “from now on, we're not calling them chopsticks. They're hashi.

“Got it. Hashi,” I answered.

“Ham went to the Air Force Academy,” Tom explained, looking at Sam.

“Where’d you go for undergraduate?” I asked Sam.

“I graduated from Northwestern in 1966.”

We ate in silence for a few minutes, with me trying my best to impress my hosts, and especially Sam, my facility withhashi. I was getting pretty good, getting almost every bite to my mouth without dropping anything.

Then Sam ventured, “You know, I almost dated a cadet once.”

“Sounds like you dodged a bullet,” I replied.

“No, I was actually really looking forward to it. In the fall of 1963, when I was a sophomore, the Army and Air Force were playing their first-ever football game, at Soldier Field in Chicago.”

I remembered it well. I was a doolie at the time, and the entire cadet wing was going to travel to Chicago by train to watch the game and then have a post-game formal ball. We were going to have a joint ball with the “Woops” – the West Pointers – who had also come to Chicago en masse. As a doolie, I had never gotten the opportunity to leave the base since entering the Academy in the summer, and this was going to be a real treat. After the game, we would have about four hours to be out on our own to explore Chicago before the ball. I was really looking forward to it.

Then, the day before our departure, my appendix burst and I had peritonitis. I had emergency surgery, and couldn’t go on the trip. I was stuck in the Academy hospital, to watch the game – Air Force beat Army – on television. The only cadet in the hospital. In fact, I was the only patient in the entire hospital, other than a Math instructor’s wife, who was only there for about three days to deliver her baby.

“There was a formal ball after the game,” Sam continued, “and they wanted local college girls to be blind dates for the cadets. It sounded like it would be fun, and I volunteered. I bought a beautiful gown and gorgeous long, white leather formal gloves. And shoes. Remember?” She looked over at Tom and Miyako. They nodded.

“I showed up at the ball, and I was as dolled-up as I could be. I’d gone to the hairdresser and had my hair done in the morning, and had my nails done also. And the cadets were so handsome in their mess uniforms. Is that what it’s called?”

“Mess dress,” I answered.

“That’s right, mess dress. And I’m not just saying this, Ham, I thought the Air Force cadets looked a lot sharper than the West Pointers.”

“It goes without saying,” I answered.

“So, I went to the reception hall where all the girls were assembling, and one by one the social director called out the names of the girls and they would go through the door to the ballroom and meet their blind dates.” She paused, took a deep breath, and swallowed hard. “And then I was left all alone. I didn’t have a date.”

“What!” I exclaimed. “Were they crazy?”

“No, it was just, the blind dates had already been pre-arranged, and the cadet I was supposed to be paired up with was in the hospital. I went back to my dorm room and cried myself to sleep.”

Tom and Miyako were staring at me.

“Ham! Are you all right? You’re white as a sheet.”

I found myself frozen, with my chopsticks, okay, myhashi, half-way to my mouth, and I couldn’t move. Finally, I regained my composure.

“That was me! I was the cadet in the hospital!”

Now it was Sam’s turn to be speechless.

Tom looked at Miyako and said, “Sore wa narimasu”. She nodded. Then he looked at me.

“I’m sorry for speaking Japanese, Ham. What I said to Miyako was that when something is meant to be, it will be.”

My eyes locked onto Sam’s and I remembered: that was exactly what Colonel Ryan had said.

Nov 18, 2021

The aircraft involved in the accident was a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, registered N68045, which had made its first flight in 1972.

The captain was 59-year-old Charles E. Hersche, who was operating his last flight before retirement. He had been with Continental Airlines since 1946 and had logged 29,000 flight hours, including 2,911 hours on the DC-10. Hersche served with the U.S. Air Force from 1942 through 1953 during World War II and Korean War.

The first officer was 40-year-old Michael J. Provan, who had been with Continental Airlines since 1966 and had 10,000 flight hours, with 1,149 of them on the DC-10.

The flight engineer was 39-year-old John K. Olsen, who had been with the airline since 1968. He was the least experienced member of the crew with 8,000 flight hours, 1,520 of them on the DC-10.

The aircraft began its take-off from Los Angeles International Airport at around 9:25 am. During the takeoff roll, the recapping tread of the number-two tire on the left main landing gear separated from the tire and the resulting overload caused that tire to blow out. That, in turn, imposed an overload on the number-one tire on the same axle, resulting in a second blowout almost immediately after the first blowout. Pieces of metal from the rims of the failed tires then damaged the number-five tire on the left main gear, causing it to also blow out.

Although Captain Hershe initiated the abort procedure at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) below V1 speed, it became apparent the aircraft could not stop within the confines of the runway. This was the direct result of the partial loss of braking power following the failure of the three tires on the left main gear, and also because the runway was wet. The captain steered the aircraft to go off the end of the right half of the runway in an effort "to go beside the stanchions holding the runway lights", thus avoiding a collision with the approach light stanchions, which were positioned immediately beyond the end of the runway. About 100 feet (30 m) beyond the end of the runway, the left main gear broke through the nonload-bearing pavement, which caused it to collapse rearward. Portions of the failed gear punctured fuel tanks in the left wing, immediately starting a fuel fire on the left side.

The aircraft slid to a stop about 664 feet (202 m) beyond the departure end of the runway. Because of the fire on the left side of the aircraft, all passengers evacuated on the right side. All four emergency evacuation slides on the right side of the aircraft were affected by the heat and failed at some point during the evacuation. Flight 603's flight crew and an off-duty pilot worked quickly to guide passengers to alternate exits as the slides failed, actions later commended by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for saving lives and reducing the number of injuries.[1]:38 Passengers who were still on board after the last slide failed were forced to either jump to the ground, or use a slide rope deployed from the first officer's cockpit window.

Of the 186 passengers and 14 crew on board, two passengers died due to burning and smoke inhalation. Moreover, 28 passengers and three crew members were seriously injured during the evacuation. Two of the seriously injured passengers died as a result of their injuries about three months later.

A large portion of the aircraft's left section was destroyed. The aircraft subsequently was written off as a hull loss. The accident represents the second fatal accident and fifth hull loss of a McDonnell Douglas DC-10.

During its investigation, the NTSB found the number-two tire failed because it threw off its (recapped) tread. The number-one tire then failed because it was overloaded and had fatigue in its ply structure. The number-five tire then failed, because it was hit with a piece or pieces of metal from either the number-two or -one wheel. The failure of that third tire on the left main gear probably contributed to the gear breaking through the nonload-bearing pavement beyond the end of the runway, which in turn caused the gear to collapse and puncture the fuel tanks. Additionally, the NTSB stated: "The tires on the aircraft may have been operated in the overdeflected condition, since the average inflation pressure was less than the optimum pressure for maximum gross weight."

The NTSB made recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), including that the FAA prohibit mounting on the same axle different models of tires, which had different load-bearing characteristics and also that greater load-bearing characteristics be required in tires manufactured in the future. The NTSB also issued a series of recommendations regarding improvements to aircraft evacuation safety, including development of more durable and fire-resistant slides, and the placement of evacuation ropes at emergency exits for use in the event of slide failure.

After the investigation of this accident was completed, the FAA made a number of rule changes improving runway performance, including updated tire rating criteria, performance standards, and testing requirements. In addition, the FAA mandated changes to the design of evacuation slides to increase their capacity, improve fire resistance, and inflate at a quicker speed.

Nov 15, 2021

A number of accidents, some of them fatal, and incidents have been attributed at least in part to communication issues related to the language proficiency of air traffic controllers and pilots.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) mandated that pilots and air traffic controllers demonstrate language proficiency sufficient to deal with the linguistic challenges presented by quickly changing and dynamic abnormal situations and emergencies that require extended use of language outside that of standard radiotelephony (RT).

The language proficiency requirements are applicable to non-native English speakers but, according to a statement in ICAO Doc 9835, “Native speakers of English, too, have a fundamentally important role to play in the international efforts to increase communication safety.”

Still, it seems that the onus for safeguarding successful communication is on the non‑native English speaker. In many cases, non-native speakers are tested and taught how to approximate to native speaker norms when, in reality, many of them will have less opportunity to interact with native speakers.

English, the language of aviation, is a first language or widely used national language in approximately 60 ICAO member states, ICAO said several years ago in Doc 9835. But the document also says that “there are more speakers worldwide of English as a second or foreign language than as a first language, and most of the contexts in which English is used occur among speakers of English as a second or foreign language. Non-native users of English outnumbered native users at the start of the 21st century by approximately 3 to 1.”

So, it stands to reason that the majority of aeronautical radiotelephonic interactions are between speakers for whom English is not the first language; in other words, it is a lingua franca — a language used for communication among groups of people who speak different languages. I won’t go into too much, but these interactions are qualitatively different from the interactions that take place between native speakers.

When non-native speakers engage with other non-native speakers in English, either in an aeronautical or a non-aeronautical context, they come to the speech event with their own language ability, their own cultural expectations, their own first language interference and a host of other unique dimensions. These interactions are “de-territorialized speech events”1 not tied to any one specific culture and so are very “hybrid in nature.”2

Native speakers tend to take so much for granted: connected speech, complex localized language structures, lexis (vocabulary) and much more. This puts the native speaker at a disadvantage as these features of native English speech are particularly problematic to non-native speakers at lower levels of proficiency.

Native speakers are in the minority3 and so, it has been argued, it is as incumbent on the native speaker as on the non-native speaker to meet part way by bridging the gap in safeguarding successful communication.4 It would appear, from the evidence and the literature, that there is a need for native-speaking pilots and air traffic controllers to undergo training to learn how to accommodate their non-native English-speaking interlocutors in order to safeguard communication and mitigate against possible incidents.

From ICAO:

Montréal – 4 July 2013 – The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has announced the launch of a new and improved Aviation English Language Test Service (AELTS) website (www.icao.int/aelts).

First launched in 2011, the website for this voluntary service has been made significantly more intuitive and user-friendly, responding to ongoing feedback from the aviation English language testing community.

“Aviation English language tests are designed to measure the speaking and listening ability of pilots and controllers, a key factor in the day-to-day safety of air transport operations,” noted the UN body’s Secretary General, Raymond Benjamin.

“As aviation continues to grow, with almost 100,000 flights a day today and 200,000 daily expected by 2030, it’s imperative that ICAO continues to evolve and refine its safety support tools,” continued Benjamin. “This helps to ensure that passengers around the world can continue to look to air travel as their safest means of rapid global connectivity.”

ICAO’s AELTS directly supports the UN standard-setting body’s Doc 9835, the Manual on the Implementation of ICAO Language Proficiency Requirements. By measuring test performance against its Language Proficiency Requirements (LPR) criteria, ICAO is able to provide important information on test quality so that States, pilots and controllers can make the most informed selection possible when choosing a test provider. 

An international AELTS Steering Committee, comprised of highly qualified experts from States, associations and non-profit organizations, advises ICAO on best practices and provides guidance on how to develop, implement, manage and improve the test assessment service.

From Easyaviationenglish.com:

English has long been the common language of aviation.  Pilots and air traffic controllers of varying nationalities have been required to communicate using english.  Previously it was up to each country to create their own standard of aviation english.  However, these standards often vary and as a result miscommunication in the english language has contributed to many aviation accidents.  The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) created an international standard for language proficiency requirements including a rating scale to measure the level of english proficiency.  Of this scale, ICAO level of 4 or higher was officially recognized as being english proficient in aviation.

ICAO set an initial deadline for 2008 for pilots and air traffic controllers to achieve the minimum english proficiency of ICAO level 4.  Many countries were not able to meet the deadline so an extension was given until 2011.

The purpose of an international standard of english is to enhance global aviation safety

These english standards are generally accepted by ICAO member countries around the world.  However, each country may set their own english standards beyond what was set by ICAO.

Anyone can take the ICAO english test but pilots and air traffic controllers involved in international flight operations must achieve at east level 4 of english proficiency.  Even pilots who fly between two non english speaking countries must first pass the ICAO english test.

The ICAO english test measures the ability to speak and understand english in an aviation environment (reading english is not required).  This includes how well one can efficiently communicate routine and non routine situations both face to face and over the radio.  In particular the test measures the following:

  • Comprehension – to be able to understand english through various accents and dialects.
  • Communication – to communicate information clearly and effectively particularly during emergency situations.
  • Radio communications – communication over the radio can be very different than speaking in person.  Proper radio communication skills require the use of standard phraseology.  It also requires the ability to understand distorted english created by radio interference.

During the test the examiner evaluates the applicant based on the following areas:

  • Pronunciation – to speak english with a dialect or accent that is easy for the listener to understand.
  • Structure – grammatical structures and sentence patterns.
  • Vocabulary – the speak accurately and efficiently using the correct words.
  • Fluency – the continuous flow and rhythm of speech.
  • Comprehension – to understand and make sense of what is heard.
  • Interactions – how well one responds in a conversation.  This may include checking, clarifying or confirming information if necessary.

Each category is graded on a scale between 1-6 (1 is the lowest, high is the proficient).  The lowest score determines the final ICAO english rating.  For example, an applicant may be scored 4 for every category except comprehension where the score was 3.  As a result, the applicant will receive a final rating of 3.The international standard to be english proficient is level 4 or higher.

Those who have ICAO english level 4 must retake the exam every three years while those with ICAO english level have up to 5 years to be reassessed.  Achieving ICAO english level 6 is considered an expert level and therefore does not require a reassessment.

From AOPA Pilot:

We have received many questions about the English-proficient endorsement for pilot certificates. Pilots want us to clarify who’s affected, how to get the certificate, and clear up the confusion about the compliance date. The initial deadline was March 5, 2008, but the FAA was flooded with applications and has extended the compliance date a year—until March 5, 2009.

Pilots who fly from the United States to any destination outside of the United States, will be required to have a new certificate with “English Proficient” on it when acting as a required crewmember after March 5, 2009. This is a result of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) language proficiency standards for operating internationally.

The requirement applies to all holders of private, commercial, and airline transport pilot certificates with powered ratings, as well as flight engineers and flight navigators. If you hold an instructor certificate, it will not have an English-proficient endorsement and you do not need to order a replacement for it.

Pilots with a U.S.-issued certificate will not need to pass a language test, just obtain a replacement certificate by requesting one from the FAA. The plastic replacement certificate costs $2 and takes about two weeks for online processing, and four to six weeks for paper processing through the mail.

Here’s something to consider if you’ve been meaning to order a new certificate with a number different from your Social Security number, but haven’t gotten around to doing it. Since all new pilot certificates will automatically be issued with the endorsement, you could accomplish both things with one request—and you aren’t charged the $2 fee for a new certificate, only for a replacement.

Pilots can download the paper application for SSN removal from the FAA’s Web site for a replacement certificate ($2).

If you already have an account, just log in. If you are not yet registered, you’ll have to create an account and enter your personal information.

Place a checkmark in front of the $2 box and select “English Proficiency” as the reason. Follow the steps to receive your new certificate in about two weeks.

Nov 11, 2021

In the battle for Iwo Jima, 7000 marines were killed and 20,000 wounded.

From az central:

It's an image seared into the American consciousness.

After four days of fierce fighting on the tiny Pacific island of Iwo Jima during World War II, part of the United States' “island hopping” strategy to defeat the Japanese after retaking the Philippines, six U.S. Marines climb the highest peak of the 8-square-mile outpost and plant an American flag.

One helmet-clad Marine holds the post in place amid the rubble, while the others thrust the stars and stripes toward the smoke- and cloud-pocked sky; a triumphant moment captured by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.

The photo would publish nationwide to great fanfare two days later on Sunday, Feb. 25, 1945, and prove that, yes, we can win the war.

Rosenthal would later win a Pulitzer Prize for Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, and the U.S. Postal Service would affix the image on a 3-cent stamp.

From my author website:

November 10, 1969

I was sitting in the Doom Club with a couple of the other Covey FACs. The weather had been especially lousy, with squall line thunderstorms over the mountains between DaNang and Laos. Because of the weather either over the target area or over our route to the AO, we hadn’t flown any missions in several days. We were getting antsy, and spent most of our time bitching. And drinking.

We were about to order another round of drinks, when in walked a Marine Lieutenant. It was Lieutenant Royce!

“Who wants to help celebrate the Marine Corps birthday?” he bellowed. I got the impression he’d already started celebrating a bit earlier.

When he saw me, his eyes lit up.

“Lieutenant! Great to see you. I have a jeep outside, and I can take five of you.”

“I’m ready!” I answered, “Let’s go.”

Three other guys joined me in piling into the jeep for a quick, albeit dangerous, drive to Camp DaNang, the Marine outpost. When we arrived we spilled out and went into the Marine Officer’s Club.

The Marines didn’t know how to live in luxury, but they sure knew how to throw a party. All the booze we could drink. All the food, great food, we could eat. Steak, lobster, shrimp. We had a ball.

Like every other time I got shit-faced drunk, I blacked out. I think I had a good time. Next thing I knew, someone was shaking me.

“Lieutenant. Wake up.” It was Royce.

I felt like crap. I lifted my head and looked around. I was on a canvas cot.

“It’s 0500 hours,” Royce proclaimed, “Let’s go for a run.”

“I, I think I’ll pass,” I responded.

“Okay. If you want to wash up, here’s a basin.” He handed me an empty helmet.

All I could think was, “You gotta be shitting me.”

I thanked Royce and hitched a ride back to DaNang. Damn, those Marines knew how to throw a party!

From Today:

A sacred part of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier usually only visited by presidents and foreign dignitaries is open to the public this week in honor of the 100th anniversary of the memorial dedicated to America's unidentified war casualties.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza on the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia is usually reserved for the sentinels who stand guard and presidents and other dignitaries presenting a wreath or flowers.

Ahead of Veterans Day on Thursday, the American public is being given the chance to step forward on the plaza and pay their respects by placing flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The special opportunity is available on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST by registering online in advance.

TODAY's Craig Melvin traveled to the site of the sacred white marble sarcophagus to speak with a gold star mother who regularly visits Arlington as well as a senior member of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” who keep watch day and night at the tomb.

The memorial was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1921, after the remains of an unidentified soldier from World War I were exhumed from a military cemetery in France, flown to the United States, and buried in a ceremony officiated by President Warren G. Harding.

Remains of unidentified soldiers from World War II and the Korean War were later interred at the tomb in the 1950s. The remains of a Vietnam War veteran were buried there in 1984, but they were exhumed in 1998 and buried at a Missouri military cemetery at the request of the soldier's family after he was positively identified as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie, according to the Arlington National Cemetery website.

Cindy Chip, whose son Sgt. Michael Hardegree died while serving in Iraq in 2007, is among the more than 12,000 people who have signed up so far to lay flowers at the tomb on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"We don’t know that soldier’s name," she told Craig on TODAY Tuesday. "We don’t know anything about him except that he was an American soldier and he gave his life for his country. And we will never forget him.

"And every mother in her heart, that is what we want to say. Just don’t forget them. Just don’t forget that he lived. And that’s what that tomb says to me. This country will never forget it."

From my author website:

Saying Goodbye To A Friend

Posted on April 15, 2015

I buried a friend yesterday. At this age, that’s not terribly unusual. What made this different is that Rick Chorlins was killed 45 years ago, and his remains have finally been brought home.

Rick and I were close when we were cadets at the Air  Force Academy. Then, in 1967, graduation sent us in different directions, and we didn’t meet up again until late 1969. I was stationed at DaNang Air Base, South Vietnam, and had wangled a good-deal trip to Thailand for a few days. I was going to go for an orientation ride on a C-130 Airborne Command and Control Center (ABCCC), call-sign Moonbeam. It was a chance to get away from the unrelenting nightly rocket attacks, and see locals who were not burdened by war and who knew how to smile.

I arrived at Nakon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base, called NKP, and headed to the Officers Club. And there, standing at the bar, was Rick, along with another classmate I hadn’t seen in over two years, Bob Moore. Meeting up with old friends after a long time is always fun. Running into them unexpectedly on the other side of the world is really special. We hung around together the entire night. After a few drinks, we had dinner, then went back to their hootch and caught up with what had been happening in our lives. We had all gotten married since we last saw each other. Rick had gotten a Master’s Degree. Bob had become a father. We swapped war stories. I told them what it was like to be a Forward Air Controller, and they told me what it was like to fly the A-1 in combat.

Truth be told, I felt like I was the kid and they were the grown-ups. I was flying a dinky little O-2A Skymaster, while they were flying the Skyraider, a gigantic, fire-breathing tail-dragger with a round engine that carried thousands of pounds of bombs under its wings and dueled with enemy gunners for a living. They were real fighter pilots. After hours of shooting down our watches with our hands, we said our good-byes and vowed to get together again, at some unknown time in the future. Great guys.

If you’ve read Hamfist Over The Trail, this story might sound familiar. Chapter 28 is the fictionalized account of my meeting up with Bob and Rick. Dave and Dick in the book are the fictional characters representing the real-life Rick and Bob.

Bob was killed the next week . A few months later, Rick was shot down and he was listed as KIA, but his remains were not recovered.

Until now. After 45 years, Rick came home. His remains had been discovered in Laos in 2003 and sent to Hawaii, where DNA testing finally confirmed it was Rick.

Rick was buried at the Air Force Academy cemetery with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute, a missing-man fly-by, and the solemn playing of Taps. Generals presented flags to his two surviving relatives, his sisters, Cheryl and Toby.

Then we all gathered together at a restaurant to tell Rick stories. And we all had a really great time, reminiscing about Rick’s great sense of humor, his intelligence, and his dedication to duty. It was a great Celebration of Life.

And it was also a solemn reminder of the sacrifices the families of servicemen faced, and continue to face, when they send their loved ones off to war. They wait at home, never knowing if the sound of the closing car door in the street is a neighbor coming home or a military staff car with a Colonel and a Chaplain coming to bring news that will change their lives forever. That happened 58,286 times during the Vietnam War.

Eighteen on my classmates were lost in Southeast Asia. Five have still not been found.

Nov 8, 2021

J.A. Moad II is a writer,  performer,  speaker, veteran and  pilot.  Advocate for the stories that cut deep—writing that makes us bleed. Crafting words to remind us that we are all human, struggling to find meaning and acceptance, strength and resilience as we break ourselves against the world, each of us with a hungered yearning for expression and a shared desire for those elusive, indefinable truths conveyed through the art of story. A former Air Force C-130 pilot with over a hundred combat sorties. He wrote and performed his award-winning play, Outside Paducah - the Wars at Home in which he was nominated for Outstanding Solo Performance by the New York Innovative Theater Awards (NYIT).  He was a finalist for the McKnight Fellowship in playwriting and is the recipient of the Consequence Magazine Fiction Award. He has performed at The Library of Congress and The Guthrie Theater in The Telling Project - Giving Voice to the Veteran Experience. He served as an English Professor at the United States Air Force Academy and continues to serve as an editor for their international journal, War, Literature & the Arts (WLA). His short stories, poetry and essays have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. He currently resides in Northfield, MN where he writes, lectures, and performs throughout the country while continuing to fly for a major airline.

 

 

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