This Memorial Day is different. Mostly, I start my Memorial Day by letting JoALT et al sleep in while I hie myself to a breakfast spot to get a quick meal and then go into the annual Memorial Day rotation – traveling to different places in my town to remember my departed comrades.
First up is the crew of Hulk 46. The aircraft was lost off Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory, on February 3rd, 1991. Three of my friends lost their lives in the crash. Here is a website talking about the specifics. I’ll visit with them when I go see my aircraft from the 1st Gulf War, “Nine o’ Nine II” on permanent display at Barksdale AFB. You know you are getting old when an airplane you flew is on display at a museum.
While I am on my way back to the Global Power Museum, I’ll stop by the memorial for Raidr 21, lost off Guam in 2008. Maj Cooper and I did B-52 Qual training together in 1999 at Barksdale. JoALT met him while she was visiting one time before we married.
Then it is off to go see Mats. Col Mark Matsushima hired me onto his AOC Strategy Division team in 2003, basically giving me the position to do operations research in support of campaign analysis, a job I do today. He helped me get my foot into the door. He passed away from cancer in 2010 and is buried here in Shreveport.
Lastly, I’ll stop by a park near the Norton Museum to just sit and reflect on my USAFA classmates who are no longer with us, starting with those we lost while still in school up to present.
Not tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a long day for everybody, as JoALT and the kids get on a 7AM flight to Singapore. They will be there by Tuesday 10:45 Central. I’ll just take a nap or something and start my rotation a little later.