Air-Minded: Counting My Squadrons

I completed four operational flying assignments as a pilot in the United States Air Force. My career, with its balance of operational and staff assignments, was more or less typical for USAF pilots of my generation. What was different … and I’m sure it was nothing more than happenstance … is that the flying squadrons my family and I called home were not only low-numbered ones, but came in ascending numerical order: from the 8th Flying Training Squadron to the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, then on to the 43rd TFS and finally the 44th TFS. How many USAF veterans can say that?

Representing (Updated 9/11/19)

I don’t think of myself as a conformist, although I served on active duty and wore a uniform every day for 24 years. Even today, I feel proud when I put on my uniform shirt to go work at the air museum. I’m still me, but I’m happy to represent institutions I believe in and voluntarily join, and feel like wearing their colors … no different than a Hash House Harrier or Hells Angel … sets me apart.