Good friends from here in Elizabethtown, KY just got back home from a visit to the
Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where they attended the commencement
exercises of the graduating class of 2013.
In fact John’s grandson was one of the graduates and John, being a retired US Army officer, was able to swear in his grandson as a brand spanking new US Air Force 2 Lt. What an honor that must have been for John and his family, but that’s not the real story,nor is it the historic significance of the 2013 commencement celebration.
You see 2013 is the first Air Force graduation on record that has occurred under a
Sequester created by a non-functioning Congress and an unyielding Obama Administration.
Due to operating under this Sequester the ceremonies proceeded as follows:
President Obama regretfully declined the kind invitation of the Commandant of the Air Force Academy to be speak to the graduates and their families on the occasion of their graduation,saying he was committed to the graduates at West Point .
Instead it was established that Vice President Biden was free and he would come to
Colorado Springs .
And, as to the request for the usual fly-over by the US Air Force Thunderbirds,
that was declined again due to the Sequester.
After consultation with his chain of command the Commandant of the Air Force Academy notified the White House that due to the Sequester cancelling the traditional fly-over ofthe Thunderbirds that he was confident the nation didn’t need the added $1 million + expense to fly Air Force 2, of any configuration or model, and the added expense of the Secret Service and their entourage required when the Vice President traveled.
So just cancel the initial request for a speaker from the White House for the commencement.
So the commencement went off as planned, sans representation from the Obama
Administration. It looked like this:
The featured speaker was Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley who is a
Viet Nam-era veteran.
The Secretary flew back and forth from Andrews AFB to Peterson AFB in Colorado
Springs on routine training flight conducted by the Air Force, thus costing the American tax payers nothing.
John tells me there were nearly as many Air Force General Officers in attendance as there were family members. He thinks a dozen or more 4 Star Generals, three or four times as many 2 and 3 Stars, an untold number of 1 Star Generals.
And, of course countless Colonels and below.
Most of these officers were themselves alumni of the Air Force Academy and wanted nothing less than to present a perfect program for the graduating class.
Since the Congress and the Obama Administration could not see fit to allow for a
fly-over by the Thunderbirds, a number of the senior generals took matters into their own hands.
And so, when the speeches, the hats were all thrown into the air, and all the family
hugs were all made and it became time for the fly-over, a roar of engines was detected from the West of the air strip and parade grounds there at the facility, and everyone was treated to a fly-over by the Confederate Air Force.
Looking up, they saw all kinds of vintage aircraft from B-17s B-24s, B-25s, P-38s,
P-51s and others all represented by manufactures such Corsairs, Grumman, Lockheed and Boeing who still provide parts availability for these aircraft, and flown by our heros from prior conflicts that still see fit to stay active for services such as this. It was a wonderful experience for all who were there.
I am sure you will join me in offering a salute to these serving officers who saw fit not to rob the 2013 graduating class of their day of celebration, and to our heros who flew the planes for this worthy occasion and, oh yes, to the many private donors who pitched in and covered the expenses involved in bringing these aircraft in to Colorado Springs from various locations across the country.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE SALUTE YOU!