This week, I was invited to visit a local high school. The JROTC unit was having their annual “commander’s call,” and I was honored they asked me to be the guest speaker.
I gave my two cents on core values, and asked students to take time to learn about Pearl Harbor (since this is the anniversary of the attack.)
Later, fellow Thunderbirds served as judges during the school’s drill competition. It was fun.
This week, the Thunderbirds announced our 2014 show schedule. http://afthunderbirds.com/site/2013/12/06/usaf-thunderbirds-release-2014-show-schedule/
This is good news, for a couple of reasons:
- After the team was grounded, due to sequestration in 2013, the future of the team was uncertain. Although we announced we would have a 2014 season in October, actually having a tour schedule reinforces the fact that were back. And,
- We finally get to hit the road again, hopefully returning to some sense of normalcy. (The last year has been anything but.)
The 2013 season included an international tour to the Asia-Pacific region, including my previous duty station in Misawa, Japan. I was the Chief of Public Affairs there before joining the Thunderbirds, so I was looking forward to returning there to see all of our old friends. But, this year’s schedule includes no international shows (probably because of financial constraints.) But we’re not complaining.
Muna is excited, already looking to see which locations she and Taj will visit. Sometimes Thunderbirds spouses will meet up with their team member at a show. The squadron spends up to 220 days a year on the road. So families sometimes bridge the gap by visiting the team at a show somewhere. Its nice, because date night is always exciting since it’s in someplace different every weekend. Taj is in school, so I assume Muna will visit during summer, but I’ll take what I can I can get!
I’m trying not to be TOO excited … I know that in the big scheme of things, performing aerial demonstrations is not high on the priority list for the majority of Americans. I know there are people losing jobs; government agencies are closing/reducing their offices, and this translates into reduced services for people who need it.
Still, I can’t help but look forward to hitting the road. *Cue the hit song by Willie Nelson*