LeRoy Collins Commentary 134

Commentary #134
30 January 2008

Fighter Pilot Poem

CI was one of those lads described, who had the dream, but not the follow thru. This poem contains much wisdom re wannabes for ANYTHING. LC

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Fighter Pilot Poem

Courtesy of Bob Childers, LtCol, USAF, Ret

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I think I've known a million lads, who say they love the sky;
Who'd all be aviators, and not afraid to fly!

For Duty, Honor, Country, their courage I admire!
But it takes more than courage, son, to get to be a flyer.

When you are only twelve years old of course you want to fly!
And tho' you know not what is Death, you're not afraid to die.

But of the million, more or less, all must have perfect eyes;
So only half a million now, can dream of future skies.

Then comes high school, science, math; Some choose the easy way:
Football, cars, and dating girls; teen pleasures hold their sway.

And of the quarter million left, one half go on to schools;
The other half will dream and drift, and never learn the rules.

Now comes the day of testing, eight hours of Stanine Hell;
On every subject known to man, four- fifths will not do well.

The one in five who pass this test Apply for flying schools,
The Application Boards will now Eliminate the fools.

Then comes two days of nakedness, Flight Surgeons poke and prod;
To pass this Flying Physical one needs to be a God!

And now, five hundred lucky souls will start their Pre-Flight days;
Endure demerits, hunger, cold, as upperclassmen haze.

One-half survive this mental game, and go to Primary schools,
But only half will hack the course, move on to Basic rules.

Two hundred fifty now will try to pass those Basic tests;
Formation flight soon separates, the " tiger" from the rest.

One hundred twenty five will then pin on those pilot wings;
The best become hot fighter jocks; the rest fly other things.

Some will die while learning those essential combat skills;
Some will die in combat, some will score their "kills".

But they have learned a lesson, sometimes lost on you and me;
We must always fight for Freedom, because Freedom's never free!

He's a knight in shining armor, that the cruel tyrants fear;
He's that deadly drop of venom on the tip of Freedom's spear.

Engaging him in battle is a course that only fools would choose;
He's the world's fiercest warrior, for he has the most to lose.

So when you see that fighter pilot, standing at the bar;
Taking out the garbage, or tuning up his car.

You'd best walk up and offer him your thanks, extend your hand;
He's that rare "one in a million" who protects this sacred land.

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/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.
RADM USNR (Ret)

www.leroycollins.org


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