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USAFA Graduation

USAFA Graduation

USAF Academy, Colorado

On June 2, 1976, I threw my hat into the rarefied air of Colorado Springs and then pushed off on an interesting journey wearing the uniform of the US Air Force. The energy of the day carried me into the 80s where my T-38 instructor pilot flying exploits landed me a desk in the Pentagon and then the controls of a Lockheed C-141 Starlifter. But after clocking up 3000 accident-free flying hours, the Air Force closed the book on my cockpit duties and I burrowed 156 feet underground where I controlled airlift missions in Europe, Africa and southwest Asia. Elements of that experience evolved into the removal of intermediate range nuclear weapons from Europe, the dissolution of whole wings of Air Force personnel, on-site clean-up of the world's worst airshow disaster and a professional distrust of some officers who turned me into an enemy of the State. The end result has left me feeling disenfranchised from the glorious graduation day I shared with more than 900 classmates on that sunny afternoon of 2 June 1976.