On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM, Bob Crowley <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
A few years back, I wrote this piece for the WBAP-AM website:
General Chuck Yeager is coming to town February 11th.
He will be giving a talk at the C.R. Smith Museum near D-FW Airport.
I have had the opportunity to hear a past lecture at the Smith Museum, and it was very enjoyable. General Yeager is a personal hero of mine. Let me tell you why.
Many died trying to fly MACH 1. Without it, man could not go into space.
General Yeager, overcame the difficulties and became the first man to fly MACH 1, the speed of sound, and beyond. He and Jack Ridley understood the asymmetrical force the supersonic shock wave placed on the stabilizer, and solved the problem.
But that’s not why he’s my hero.
During World War Two, Chuck Yeager was a P-51 fighter pilot. He was shot down over France. He evaded capture, linked up with the Maquis, and escaped to Spain. He could have gone home, but argued, all the way up to General Eisenhower, to be sent back into combat. He did go back, and one day he was credited with downing 5 German planes on one mission… an ‘Ace In A Day”.
But that’s not why he is my hero.
After solving the problem of supersonic flight, Chuck Yeager led the first aero-space school for pilots. He also participated in accident investigations. He flew with Jackie Cochran to the Soviet Union. He advised the Pakistani Air Force. He was the first American to fly a Soviet Mig-15.
But those are not the reasons he is my hero.
Here is why. He could have retired to the private sector in the 1950’s, but didn’t. Instead he was sent to Europe, and assigned to a squadron that would have made a one-way flight with nuclear bombs if war had broken out. Again, in the 1960’s, when he could have retired and spent his time doing endorsements, serving on corporate boards and having a comfortable life, he didn’t. He went to Southeast Asia during the Viet Nam war to lead a group of attack-bombers. He flew more than 100 missions personally.
Instead of choosing wealth and comfort, he chose to serve his country.
That’s what makes him my hero.
c. Bob Crowley: Reprinted with permission from Bob Crowley