Friday, September 18, 2015

Somber in September

I'm somber, reflecting on anniversaries. My heart is heavy because so little lies ahead, with so much behind—and because I let down good people who were relying on me.

September 11, 1939 is my birthday. We celebrated quietly. I'm still waiting for son Bob, who has a busy schedule, to take me out for searing-hot, high-calorie vindaloo at Bollywood Bistro. I'm thankful for family and friends who support me and who sent greetings.

September 18, 1947 is the day the United States Air Force became an independent military service branch, long after most countries had an independent air arm.

This is the day for those who fly and fight. I was slated to give a talk at a very important place with some very fine people and was forced to stand them up at the last minute because of a health issue. They were counting on me. I let them down.

I'm not much for flag-waving, rah-rah, pro-veteran stuff but I feel satisfaction at being one of the Americans who went to difficult places and did difficult things. I feel privileged to be an American airman. No other title can compare. Photo shows me preparing for a Rose Bowl reconnaissance mission against the North Korean air force at Osan in April 1960, age twenty.

September 1, 1955 is the approximate date when I submitted a short opinion piece to Air Force magazine—not to be confused with Air Force Times newspaper, where I had a column later. I was age fifteen. My submission became my first paid magazine appearance in the November 1955 issue of Air Force. So I'm having a 60th anniversary of writing about those who fly and fight. No privilege could be greater.

1 comment :

  1. Bob, a sign of the times are that you and I have known eachother for about 20 years, yet have never shaken hands. Our only connection being in electronic sharing our thoughts (and opinions) via email and listserv posts and I think a single telephone call. I am priviledged to have you call me friend today (by email). I'm happy to buy a signed copy of HTM if you tell me how to find your Pay-Pal button. Given a chance to have an author sign a piece of their work preserves a moment in literature and the love of books. I only curse books when I have to move. I hope I can help move some of your clutter. And I hope for you renewed health Bob. There are more books, columns and articles to write.