I was affected by propaganda, in a good way. We went to the Air Show at Maguire Air Force Base this weekend and it was quite a patriotic event. It was a bit like “Bring your daughter” to work day, but for the public. My husband was in the Navy but it’s been a few years since I’d been on a military base. It seems the pride and respect for the military was not too far under the surface.
Once a jet breaks the sound barrier and hits Mach 3 over your head, it’s hard to not pay attention to the precision and pure awe of what some of our men and women are capable of. While I’d be getting sick, they reach heights with twists and turns that make my body hurt just thinking about it. They flew prop planes, helicopters and exhibited mission-like exercises.
Besides giving the tax payers a peek into the equipment that the military has thankfully splurged on, the event is emceed in a fashion reminiscent of old WWII news shorts that would play before a movie. There is pomp and circumstance to backdrop the expansive array of aircraft on display on the ground and in the air. You’d have to be made of stone to not feel proud of the Air Force capabilities. For a second, I had wished my husband had stayed enlisted.
Then I think about the days when he was my boyfriend, and he worked for fourteen hours at times or inconveniently had gate duty on a weekend and how annoying it seemed. When I saw the men and women who were forced to spend their weekend guiding civilians on how to park their cars or which direction to walk, I didn’t see the discontent in their faces. They were respectful and kind, while parents dragged oversized strollers onto the shuttle buses and grubby little hands touched everything that they scrubbed and shined for the big weekend. There is pride there. Though I’m not naive enough to know there weren’t gripes, they didn’t show it. They give a lot more than their time, they’d give their lives and that’s the hardest part of having military in the family.
Though we took probably a hundred photos of various types of aircraft, old and new, I’ve attached a brief sampling.
My husband was right; the military must get a really great deal on flat gray paint.