Sunday, October 28, 2007

Watching the "boys" come home

Friday a squad of A-10s returned from Afghanistan. Brian was working so was there, and then Tif, Kian and I went over to see them return as well. It was pretty cool. We hung out in the hanger for a while and then went out to the line and watched them fly in, come down the airstrip and pull into their individual spots. There weren't *tons* of people there, but probably a good 50 or so. Mostly family members and friends.

It was very cool watching them fly in and then come down the line and pull into their spots. Basically a big carport kind of thing - structure with canvas over the top and about 1/2 way up the sides. Each plan has a spot and the family and friends of each pilot were waiting where they park. These guys had been deployed for 6 months I believe. A few things that stuck with me:
  • They've been deploy for 6 months and have done a ton of sorties, dropping quite a few bombs, strafing runs, etc. They have hit targets in the hundreds. They fly in support of ground troops. They had the stats up on the board. In any case - lots of action, and yet we never hear that there is a war going on in Afghanistan. All we here from the Main Stream Media is how we pulled out of Afghanistan to go to an un-just war in Iraq. Well there is a war going on in Afghanistan and we have folks over there fighting it every day.
  • I'm feeling my age. We hung out for a while with some of the wives waiting for their husbands to fly back. All "women" that Tif knows. There is Tif and Kian talking to all these wives and their children. They all look like kids to me. Girls with their kids, waiting for their boys to return home from war. Boys who have been over there fighting for us, protecting our country. Missing 6 months of their child's first year. And they'll be going back. And its just what they do. I'm impressed by all these kids do for us (both the young men and women), and saddened by how little we do for them as a country.
  • It was very cool to watch them pull up. They have to sit in their planes *forever*, ok - maybe 5 minutes, while the ground guys get the plane all set. During this they are giving thumbs up, mouthing "I love you" to their wives / girl-friends, waving to their kids, etc. Then finally they climb off the plane, run over and hug/kiss their wives (who they haven't seen for a long time), then hug their moms - who cling to them, then their dads, then shake hands with all their friends. It was very touching.
  • The noise of the plane has a rectangle on it, with a dragon, and silhouettes of bombs, rockets and other things. This represents bombs dropped, strafing runs, etc.

It was all very cool, and I'm glad I went.

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