Taj is years ahead of me, as he seems to know what he wants to do with his life (much earlier than I did when I was his age.) Ever since he saw the Thunderbirds, he says he wants to be a fighter pilot.
I don’t know how long he’ll want to pursue this. But to the extent he takes it seriously, Muna and I will do whatever we can to support him. Sometimes, that means reaching out to others when we don’t have the answers to his questions.
Today, we reached out to Ben Ayivorh. Ben is an enlisted Thunderbirds Airman but he’s also a private pilot (in his spare time.) He’s recently been selected to earn a commission and plans to fly as an officer in the Air Force.) He was nice enough to share a few minutes of flight with Taj.
Ben showed Taj around a Diamond Star prop plane, and even let him handle the stick for a bit. At the end of the flight, Ben gave Taj a pilot log book, similar to the one Ben says his father gave him years ago when he first started flying. (I know … the feels, right?!)
I’m not sure how we’ll keep Taj engaged in flying while I’m on active duty. We keep moving a lot and it will be a challenge to find other kind people like Ben to share their time. Also, I hear that pursuing private flight can get pretty expensive.
Seeing Taj’s face after this flight makes it worth every penny. We’ll figure it out. See his takeoff below. That sound you hear is a proud father.