Saturday, May 2, 2020

An F-35 Military Tribute

Story Time...

This is a Long Story...longer than the typical Facebook attention span. Therefore we urge you to Exit Now.  This story is going to go on  forever.

For those of you who are still here, we welcome you and say "Thanks!"  It's a good & worthy story that we are Very Proud to tell.

To tell this story properly we have to digress a few times before we get to the meat of the story.  That's why it's a story that far, FAR exceeds the Facebook Attention Span.  I mean like F-A-R!

First of all it begins with my Father.  For astute readers you know he was liberated from his last nazi prison camp 75 years ago on April 29, 1945.

As a result of his courageous WWII service and his forever high regard for guys in tanks knocking down prison camp fences, Dad had an affection for what he called "A Military Tribute."  To Dad, A Military Tribute had to include a list of obligatory elements and had to be pre-planned and had to be conducted "just so" in the Military Way.

This is what I grew up with. I've always felt I have a higher-than-normal awareness of and appreciation for "A Military Tribute."

OK, so let's rewind back to last year on May 10, 2019.  It was the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike and we were among the 30,000 people with tickets to attend the Promontory, Utah commemoration.  Oh, BOY!  It was totally over-the-top in far more ways than I will ever have words to describe.  The entire presentation took TWO full hours.  And there wasn't even a dull nano-second--it was THAT tight.

The ceremony ended around 1 PM and then they began shooting off all these fireworks. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!  BIG fireworks in broad daylight.

Well, being a fireworks fan I was confused. Fireworks in the daylight? What's going on here?

And that's when it happened. A Military Tribute for The Ages.  We heard them before we could see them.  Four F-35 jet fighters flew low and slow out of the smoke of the fireworks.  Their flaps were full down and they were throttled as far back as they could be and still fly.  The formation of the four fighters dropped low and slow down upon our heads and untold thousands of us stood up and cheered our lungs out.

It remains the finest example of A Military Tribute I've ever seen in my life. I couldn't even believe I saw it.

OK, let's rewind a few days back.  To get ready to leave Rimrock requires a whole lotta physical and mental work.  Even though I kept the computer on, I could only glance at and get snippets of stuff.

I caught a glimpse of something Tuesday in my peripheral vision but I didn't know what it was.  I had a vague feeling I should check it out but I didn't have time.

And time passed....

And today we learned "the rest of the story" and when I read it I just sobbed and sobbed.  It's The Finest Military Tribute I've ever seen in My Life and I honestly don't think it can ever be topped--at least in Utah!

My Dad would have been SO PROUD!

Basically, here's what happened.  Hill Air Force Base maintains what they call a "Demonstration Team" of crack F-35 pilots. Think of them as Blue Angle pilots...only different.  They were the team that flew through the fireworks smoke screen at Promontory May 10, 2019.

And so their team cooked up A Plan to Honor Utah First Responders.

And they executed their plan to perfection.  And they excited an entire state.  And they brought tears to the eyes of so many first responders all across Utah.

Can you possibly image a tight formation of four F-35's coming in low and slow with their flaps down right on top of your hospital?

The story was brought home to me realizing they flew Panguitch yesterday. The only way they could fly Panguitch was by coming in from the south after their St. George flyover. They had to have to glided in on the far south horizon and drift down over The Panguitch Hospital and the glide down The Sevier River to lift up over the Tushar Mountains.

I simply can't even imagine the power and glory of those precious moments. Piper Cubs don't even fly over Panguitch.  But FOUR F-35's????

The linked article shows their two hour flight path over Utah.  We will add comments about the story and from those who saw them.

All we can say is we saw them do their low, slow mode trick late May 10 and it was incredible.  Can you imagine being a first responder and seeing this Military Tribute???,

“It really made us feel like, sure, we (matter) as health care professionals,” said Gil Corona, medical assistant at Intermountain Medical Center’s transplant clinic. “It just showed that this is for us and we’re just glad to be a part of it, to be a part of the , just to help them out. This is awesome!”

Listen to Flight Leader BEO Wolfe thank her crews.

From St. George...

"Thank you so much for your service and for your flyby yesterday.  Down here in St George, at Bloomington Hills Elementary, we all went out on the playground to watch you.  Your gesture moved many of us to tears.  Personally, I felt you there and that made my heart happy.  I can't wait now to tell all of my students that the lead pilot was YOU.  You never know, that action may be the reason girls everywhere realize they can serve their country and possibly pilot a jet as well."