Hey guys: |
My family and I just got back from a trip down to Disneyland last week and on the way out, I made it a point to go by Long Beach and see my old friend. I hadn't seen her for 32 years so my feeling were pretty much mixed with high emotions. As we neared Houghton Park, I was trying to determine in my mind what she would look like after all this time. We got to the appropriate place and parked. As I got out I could see a brief outline mixed in amongst the trees of
66-15028. As I got closer, I could see that she had changed, a new paint job, new decals and markings, no engine or transmission, armament had been removed, tailboom was repaired, etc.
As I walked around and under her, a person couldn't tell that she'd been in a war as all the bullet holes were patched. My mind went quickly back to Saigon, Tan An, Tan Tru, Vung Tau, Dong Tam, etc., as I thought about the "memories" I had flying aboard 028. So I was able to have a short reunion with an old friend, enjoyable, but short. Didn't think I'd ever see 028 again, but I have now enjoyed the opportunity!
I do think back along with seeing 028 and think of you who flew also with her. I thought about you specifically Joe when I read the dedication plaque as a statement you made a while back. "They Chose To Serve, Not Run".
I have great respect for each one of you and others that "Chose to Serve".
Here are some photos of our old friend.