|From the Desk of....
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 tomorrows 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
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 doesn't 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 couldn't be counted on or on whom
each of us didn't count. Wasn't 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 TIs 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!
ALWAYS WERE AND
ALWAYS WILL BE
In a few hours Memorial Day 2000 will be behind us but will never be
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 Ill forget someone who lent support and
more, and I'm certain that I don't even know many who
stepped forward. (Isn't 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 coons 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 don't, 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
Charlie Brown Control