“My Father is An Air Force Man”
By Sandra Lee Sharp
My father is an Air Force man,
And now I’ve learned to see
How this life gives as well and takes,
And what it’s meant to me.
Yes, I have had a treasured life
That’s shown me how to grow,
I’d never change it; though before
This wasn’t always so.
Forever moving, never still
From place to different place.
Our homes have numbered many —
Each address a town or base.
I still recall my father’s way
Those times when he’d come back
To kiss my Mom, then boldly state,
“We’re transferred, start to pack…”
Sometimes this was a hateful blow!
And times my heart would cry.
My friends, I’d have to let them know,
My dearest friends, good-bye.
I used to leave a hidden thing–
A pin: a strand of hair;
For though were we forever gone,
A bit of me stayed there.
When I was small I never knew,
Or cared, just what he did;
Or why he’d sometimes hold me tight
And say, “You’re worth it kid.”
I knew of course, my Dad flew planes,
When most kids dads did not.
I also knew, with sad resign,
Planes kept him gone a lot.
I watched how Mom would worry
When his plane was overdue.
But yet each time I knew he’d come
And bring a gift or two.
And what a dazzling sight he gave
This small, adoring daughter,
Dressed tall, in blue and silver;
And I’d brag, “This is my father!”
My Air Force Dad had taught me much
His gift to me is rare;
My friends are many races,
And my home is everywhere.
I know now that our country’s great,
And that are lives are free,
Because my Dad’s an Air Force man.
And means the world to me.
“I Got Your Back”
I am a small and precious child, my dad’s been sent to fight.
The only place I’ll see his face, is in my dreams at night.
He will be gone too many days for my young mind to keep track.
I may be sad, but I am proud.
My daddy’s got your back.
I am a caring mother. My son has gone to war.
My mind is filled with worries that I have never known before.
Every day I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.
I may be scared, but I am proud.
My son has got your back.
I am a strong and loving wife, with a husband soon to go.
There are times I’m terrified in a way most never know.
I bite my lip, and force a smile as I watch my husband pack.
My heart may break, but I am proud.
My husband’s got your back.
I am a soldier. Serving proudly, standing tall.
I fight for freedom, yours and mine by answering this call.
I do my job while knowing, the thanks it sometimes lacks.
Say a prayer that I’ll come home. It’s me who’s got your back.
How often my mother has said to me,
“Where are you planting your family tree?
Uprooting the children and moving each tour,
How can they possibly feel secure?”
But how can I explain about children’s hearts?
When love is present, fear departs.
For we love a man who flies o’er the earth,
Who visits Manila, Hong Kong and Perth.
Some day I hope to make Mother see.
We live by a star, not by a tree!
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
High Flight was written by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Magee was born in Shanghai, China in 1922, the son of missionaries; his father was an American and his mother was originally a British citizen. He came to the U.S. in 1939 to attend Yale, but in September 1940 he enlisted in the RCAF and was graduated as a pilot. He was sent to England for combat duty in July 1941. In August 1941, Magee composed High Flight and sent a copy to his parents. Several months later, on December 11, 1941 his Spitfire collided with another plane over England and Magee, only 19 years of age, crashed to his death. His remains are buried in the churchyard cemetery at Scopwick, Lincolnshire. This poem can be found hanging somewhere in every US Air Force Officer’s home
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air . . .
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
“Lord’s Prayer For The Military Wife”
Lord, Grant me the greatness of heart to see,
the difference in duty and his love for me.
Give me the understanding to know,
That when duty calls he must go.
Give me a task to do each day,
to fill the time when he is away,
And Lord when duty is in the field,
Please protect him and be his shield.
“Air Force Song”
Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder
At’em boys, giv’er the gun!
Down we dive spouting our flame from under
Off with one Hell-uv-a-roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame
Nothing’ll stop the US Air Force!
Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder
Sent it high into the blue;
Hands of men blasted the world asunder,
How they lived God only knew!
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wings, ever to soar.
With Scouts before and bomber galore,
Nothing can stop the US Air Force!
Here’s a toast to the host of those who
love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send this message
of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old
Then down we roar to score the rainbow’s
pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast
The US Air Force!
Off we go into the wild sky yonder
Keep the wing level and true
If you’d live to be a gray haired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue
Flying men, guarding our nation’s borders
We’ll be there followed by more
In echelon, we carry on
Nothing can stop the US Air Force!
by: Marvin C. Peterson
I’ve won the right to wear these Silver Wings
And see the many awesome sights
Of which the poet sings.
I’ve earned a place among the Gods of flight
Under the Sun’s and moon’s eternal light.
Now I can join that group so proud
Who can look down upon a cloud
And find their way across unmarked space
Where for them alone there is a place.
I can now join that honored fraternity
Whose members look into eternity
Who fly beyond the fetters of Earth
And see at once, yesterday’s death
And tomorrow’s birth.
I stand today upon duty’s threshold here
Where opportunity is shining clear
And know that what tomorrow brings
Depends on how I guide these Silver Wings.
“The Military Wife”
The good Lord was creating a model for military wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. She said, “Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What’s the matter with the standard model?”
The Lord replied, “Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, posses the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to four or forty with an hour’s notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she’s pregnant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move 10 times in 17 years. And oh, yes, she must have six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head. “Six pairs of hands? No way!”
The Lord continued, “Don’t worry, we shall make other military wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband’s achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it’s over-worked and tired, and be large enough to say ‘I understand,’ when she does not, and say ‘I love you,’ regardless.”
The angel circled the model of the military wife, looked at it closely and sighed, “It looks fine, but it’s too soft.”
“She might look soft,” replied the Lord, “but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure.”
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord’s creation. “There’s a leak,” she announced. “Something is wrong with the construction. I am not surprised that it has cracked. You are trying to put too much into this model.”
The Lord appeared offended at the angel’s lack of confidence. What you see is not a leak,” he said. “It’s a tear.”
“A tear? What is it there for?” asked the angel.
The Lord replied, “It’s for joy sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear.”
“You are a genius!” exclaimed the angel.
The Lord looked puzzled and replied, “I didn’t put it there.”
“Remembering the Forgotten Mechanic”
Through the history of world aviation
Many names have come to the fore~
Great deeds of the past in our memory will last,
As they’re joined by more and more~
When man first started his labor in his quest to
Conquer the sky
He was designer, mechanic and pilot,
And he built a machine that would fly~
But somehow the order got twisted,
And then in the public’s eye
The only man that could be seen
Was the man who knew how to fly~
He was everyone’s hero,
He was brave, he was bold, he was grand,
As he stood by his battered old biplane
With his goggles and helmet in hand~
To be sure, these pilots all earned it,
To fly you have to have guts~
And they blazed their names in the hall of fame
On wings with bailing wire struts~
But for each of the flying heroes
There were thousands of little known,
And these were the men who worked on the planes
But kept their feet on the ground~
We all know the name of Lindbergh,
And we’ve read of his flight to fame~
But think if you can, of his maintenance man,
Can you remember his name?
And think of our wartime heroes, Gabreski,
Jabara, and Scott~
Can you tell me the names of their crew chiefs?
A thousand to one you cannot~
Now pilots are highly trained people,
And wings are not easily won~
But without the work of the maintenance man
Our pilots would march with a gun~
So when you see mighty jet aircraft
As they mark their way through the air;
The grease stained man with the wrench in his hand
Is the man who put them there~
“Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our fellow men throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, peace and joy.” (Pope Paul VI)