Angel Flight and Memorial Day......an artist gets it right and call from the Crave

 
Copyright 2010, Esteban Erik Stipnieks, posted on 2010-06-03

It was a gathering…..a gathering of heroes. It was a funeral of a military aviator.  God knew the number of Combat flight hour flown by those in the gathering many of the pilots whose full career could not be disclosed and to this day some sudden absences remain to me the writer and the general public unknown. Multiple wars united many of the men. They were grieving. A senior officer choked: up faithful was his bluntness. Behind the living embodiment of the stereotypical Warrant officer.  it everybody knew the fanatical commitment to mission accomplishment and their safety. The loyalty he had been as wide as the Pacific as deep as the Mariana’s Trench. That was the reason behind his former boss’s tears. There was a twist a Chinook over flew the ceremony a final farewell to one who flew it and in it had served the United States so Well. The funeral occurred summer 2007. By Grace of God the United States had Berg for a full career tragically cancer cut short the well earned retirement.

Flash forward the sound of the acoustic guitar cuts an honest riff. The man whose early life was spent near the departure point of the some of the most tense moments of the Cold War is direct. The Video is direct in loving memory of the soldiers of Red River 44 and in honor of the crew that brought them home a group of men had made the ultimate sacrifice. A photo from a control tower then a scene Berg would have known perhaps the Chinook in the Scene paid honors to Berg. The video taken at spots both units know ones former home ones current one. The 136 Airlift Wing was based out NAS Dallas for many years opposite sides of the ramp and runway both unites resided its former home is in the video along with its current home. The Desert Slug resides at Carswell while the Chinooks remain at what used to be Navy Dallas. Unlike so many war songs that are from the War Terror this song to me the now the Guard brat cuts closest to the men I knew and my father…..it’s a love song. Bravado is missing the song instead goes to the heart of military aviation love. The song is about love of flight, love of the brothers, and deep bond between strangers. So many examples I have witnessed A Warrant officer gently rebukes the adult son of a man he knew long before (warrant officer Bivens is owed gratitude be me  son as for my father he would say I owe you much), The thunderbirds hang with Army pilots swapping stories providing an autographed picture, A story from a Blackhawk crew chief whose day Iraq included the somber duty carrying the body of a man who died in accident. My words are weak in comparison the craft.  The song The 136 Airlift Wing and the Army Guard unit that Red River 44 was from many years shared the same home base NAS Dallas they were on opposite sides and opposite ends of a runway. At what is left of it Army folks reside. Carswell is now the home of the 136 Airlift Wing. The video shows images from both the present and past location of the 136 Airlift Wing. The ramp many heroes know and knew with Chinooks is also in video. An irony is Radney Foster grew up at the home base of the U-2 wing that lost a pilot during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Angel flight in terms of art is better then the TV movie Call to Glory in the end it captures the lifestyle with a far greater degree of accuracy

Memorial Day the goal was to honor Berg. Yet the image of the man portrayed by others points me a different direction. A memory directs face book postings to his fallen brothers, and the flight crew who carried them home. The Crew of Red River-44 in Radney’s words “Gave it all.” What is a combat vet? What is a member of the military? They are people who appear to be normal on the surface identical to civilians out of uniform. Only God knows the depth of their service.  The family members of the crew lost a loved one. The Desert slug stands as a memorial to a generation of men. Angel flight is about a war that we realized in on a dark day in September. Angel flight is about the flight crews of an era that spawned a face book posting after the Ft Hood shooting posted by an Army Aviator “With people like your in our corner we will be triumphant” the years change the battles change but the torch remains high. The families members who receive money and aid from the foundation are families who in their own way paid a price for the freedom we enjoy. I honor a hero of my father by saluting the singer songwriter that got it right and told the story I grew up witnessing elements of. The current generation of heroes stands every bit as tall as those who defeated fascism, those who held communism at bay and in the end defeated through Vietnam and Korea. Down Load Angel flight for the price offered. Get others to download it. Hey even watch video on Youtube.


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