03 November 2006

How cool is that?

I ran this afternoon - short but hard. It was a good run, and I decided to walk the last couple blocks to the house to shorten my total time-spent-gasping-in-the-living-room.

As I strolled up the sidewalk, the ground trembled. There was a rumble to the west, then a building wall of sound. I looked up (I know what this is - you gotta look ahead of the sound). The roar built, until it was almost painful and almost overhead. Then I saw it.

(photo courtesy USAF)

Taking off from the Air Base. It cleared the base perimeter and shot almost straight up. Three more followed at angles less steep.

We get a lot of transport and utility planes here, not so many fighters. But man, are the fighters ever awesome. From the sound to the sight, whether they're taking off, landing or just screaming by at low altitude...well, it makes me smile. Not a little smile, either. A big ol' shit-eating grin.

Now, I've (thankfully) never been in a position where fixed-wing air power had to come to the rescue. But I have been in a couple spots where it was REAL nice to know those fighters were out there. I see them now and it just makes me realize the amount of talent, technology and sheer POWER we can bring to bear on anything or anyone that threatens us.

And I defy anyone who ever watches fighters fly to not feel a little envy. I know that flying in the military, particularly flying fighters, is a lot more work than glamor. And I know that getting there requires massive effort (and a buttload of math). But...I'd just about give a kidney to launch one of those off a runway and into a steep climb someday. I never will, but it makes me happy to see that people do.

Anyway, fighters just give me a warm fuzzy way down in my boot-wearing, warmongering heart. And I felt like sharing.