This was a patriotic-packed three days. First the christening of the nation’s latest and greatest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, named after my favorite president and former boss. I then drove south to stay with my friends Tom and Sheila Waskow at their beautiful house in Denver, NC. Tom was a USAF FAC pilot during the Vietnam War, and took me on a couple of missions that almost terminated us permanently. He retired as a three-star general/fighter pilot. Today we attended a Veterans Day celebration in Davidson, North Carolina. The event was keynoted by retired Col. Quincy Collins, a U.S. Air Force pilot whose F105 fighter was shot down over North Vietnam. He was captured, and held prisoner for seven and a half years by the enemy. Col. Collins gave a rousing speech to the crowd, and showed everyone what a real hero looks like. He also displayed a fine sense of humor, something he never lost during his long captivity. After the Vet’s Day activities, we drove over to the neighboring town of Cornelius where Sheila and her sister Theresa Schwab visited a plaque honoring their dad Jerry Crump who was a Medal of Honor recipient for his brave action during the Korean War. A fitting end to an emotional day.
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