The day before we were privileged to participate in the Blue Carpet activities which began with breakfast provided by the Lady Ducks (wives and significant others of the squadron). We were proud to see our future son-in-law, 1st Lt. Chris Morse accept an award for best strafer at the morning's "briefing." Then it was off for a tour of the air traffic control tower where the team of highly trained, dedicated men and women guide these high flying men on and off the runway. I was deeply impressed with their concern for each pilot and their families as well.
After lunch we headed out for a rollicking time in the "Sim" (flight simulator) where you get to pretend you're an F-16 pilot. These flight simulators are the ones the pilots train on. I didn't actually get to hold the controls, but watched my husband take off, and maneuver through the Grand Canyon. He then shot down an enemy B-52 and finally landed safely, thanks to great coaching from Chris. I'm sure I'd have crashed on take off so it's just as well I watched from the control room.
We spent some time up close and personal with the real F-16s. Amazing! Looking into the cockpit made claustrophobia the top thought in my mind. An extremely tight space, it has room for only the pilot. Watching these rocket-like jets take off and roar into the blue skies overhead gave us a greater appreciation of its power and the prowess of the pilots.
And then it was time for the graduation of Class 11-DBG on Friday evening. The ceremony is the culmination of nine months of intense flight training in the F-16 Fighting Falcon, known as the Viper. The speaker was Gen. Philip Breedlove, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. As a former Viper driver (as the pilots affectionately call themselves), he spoke about the awesome responsibility these young men have been given to defend our country. They are the best of America's sons to protect our freedom, and they are the best pilots in the world. The support and love from their families was also recognized, which is vital to the success of these men. Each name was called, a diploma given, handshakes and salutes exchanged, and then the class gathered to the side of the platform. The duty assignments for the young pilots span the globe, from Korea to Italy. Chris will be on his way to Korea in just a few weeks.
We are so proud of Chris and his willingness to put everything on the line to defend our country. Our admiration and thanks go to George and Lorie for raising such a fine son. We're also proud of our daughter Emily for her love and commitment to Chris as he deploys to protect all of us. May God watch over each of these men, protect them on every side, guide them, and bring them safely home. May God watch over their families and give them strength to carry on while they're away.
FLY, FIGHT, WIN!
This free scrapbook design generated with Smilebox
|Chris & Emily|
|Lorie, Chris, George|
The Morse Family
|The Wallaces & Chris|