Waking Up By Jets

Okay, so I don’t mean to get all political on here, but I ran across something earlier this weekend that really set me off…   Regardless of your feelings about the way we’re fighting the War on Terror & Iraq, I would like to hope that people would have a general respect and appreciation for our armed forces, and those who give of themselves, and at times, their lives in service to our country, protecting our freedom.

It frustrates me when people not only take that for granted, but have a general disrespect for the very people who are protecting them.  Take this letter to the editor that appeared in the Arizona Republic:

Complaint: A wake-up call from Luke’s jets

Jun. 23, 2005 12:00 AM

"Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show?

Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune!

Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns’ early-bird special?

Any response would be appreciated."

Wow…  That’s not really disrespectful by any means…  But here’s the best part – the awesome response from Luke Air Force Base:

 he response: Regarding "A wake-up call from Luke’s jets" (Letters, Thursday):

On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt Jeremy Fresques.

Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day.

At 9 a.m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.

Based on the letter writer’s recount of the flyby, and because of the jet noise, I’m sure you didn’t hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their ,son a flag on behalf of the president of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.

A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects.

The letter writer asks, "Whom do we thank for the morning air show?"

The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Lt. Col. Scott Pleus, CO
63rd Fighter Squadron
Luke Air Force Base

Lol, way to show him..  In all seriousness though, it really pisses me off when you have people like this who are constantly second-guessing our military.  When times are dire, we must realize that we need to put trust into the hands of those who are trying to protect us. Granted they are human, and like everyone, does make mistakes from time to time – but there is a system in place for the citizens to monitor and manage the armed forces.  Ultimately I think that self-centered and arrogant people that are skeptically second-guessing our military (like the letter-writer above) are undermining our country in the War on Terror… 

And in the end, what are you complaining about being woken up at 9:11am?  For all of the sacrifices Capt Fresques and his family made, I think it’s worth waking up a few people on Saturday morning to show our respect and admiration. It’s the least we can do.