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"Optimism (light) is the power that ultimately defeats fear (darkness)."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mrs. Reagan Christens the "Spirit of Ronald Reagan"

Yesterday was a great day for the dedicated Airmen at March AFB. The eighth, and final, delivery of a C-17 Globemaster III was christened by Mrs. Nancy Reagan. I am sure that for her, this was a beautiful, yet poignant ceremony - her best friend Ronnie was not by her side. (those who know, know, she always called him "Ronnie" [not me])

Through a scene that is always powerful, a red carpet flanked by the guard, Lieutenant General John Bradley escorted Mrs. Reagan to the observation area. Even though Mrs. Reagan, a spry 84 years young, did not speak to the crowd, she did provide a few words for the ceremony:
"Ronnie believed that it is the responsibility of every American to help guard the freedoms we hold dear. So I know he would be especially pleased that this plane will be flown by citizen aircrews, providing support for our troops fighting in faraway lands."
I think it is amazing that in all these years, this woman's attention to detail when it comes to the written and spoken word is still at the forefront. The key words are, "citizen aircrews", where she is paying a special commendation to the Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard. It is true that the major compliment of our fine Airmen are active duty. And often times, the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserves are sometimes a tad bit overlooked - except in a time of war. Mrs. Reagan knows, and so did our former President Ronald Reagan know, that our Reserve and Guard forces are a very important part of our national defense, and very deserving of the respect and admiration of the entire country!

If you all have forgotten, President Reagan served in the Army Reserve and Army Air Corps during World War II! He holds a special place in the heart of the United States Military as he, and only he, brought us back from the brink of extinction. After so much strife, derision, defunding, hamstringing, and external bickering (outside the US Military), one man's vision returned our brave fighting forces back to the worlds greatest fighting force!

As California Congressman Kenneth Calvert put so succinctly:
"The fact that our Airmen are equipped with unsurpassed military assets like the C-17 is a testament to those leaders, especially President Reagan, who demonstrated the commitment to sustaining our military strength."

I couldn't have said it better. Yet, Lt. General Bradley added this extra point to the spear by saying that President Reagan had:
"the vision to provide the kind of capabilities that we need today."
It is sad that President Reagan was not able to see his vision come to fruition. He died June 5, 2004, at the amazing age of 93. Just two more years and he would have seen "his" C-17, "his" aircraft carrier, and the F-22A become operational. Hmmm.

As the ceremony continued, Lt. General Bradley said:
"The C-17 has phenomenal capability and flexibility. It can go into places that many other airplanes cannot. It can carry huge loads (and) great numbers of troops into very austere environments. It will help the Air Force in its continued war on terror."

"This aircraft will fly around the world and do wonderful things for America and for many other people. It will deliver troops and equipment (and) deliver humanitarian supplies to people around the world who've never seen anything from America."
A beautiful day for the team at March AFB. It is a great story provided by Senior Master Sergeant Matt Proietti of the 452nd Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs at AF.mil. Good thing that the weather held, until today - raining again in sunny California ...

Stay Tuned to ...


At 1/14/2006 03:58:00 PM, Anonymous Amy Proctor said...

1st, an oversite has me not linking to your site yet. I'll add you to my blogroll this weekend.

I find it sad that Nancy looks like she cannot muster a smile. She has lost her soulmate and hasn't (I doubt she will) regain herself.

What's interesting is how we long for a soulmate and a relationship like the Reagans had, but then we don't want the possibility of what life is like after one spouse is gone.

A little off topic, but this is what I noted from your post. The pictures of Mrs. Reagan really stuck out.

At 1/14/2006 04:11:00 PM, Blogger LinkedInUSAF said...

Whenever she says, "Ronnie..." you can hear it in her voice. As I said, she still looks pretty spry for 84! My Mom looks a bit like her ... at least that is what my wife and I notice.

I, however, look nothing like the former President! :)

At 1/14/2006 06:05:00 PM, Blogger yankeemom said...

Great story!
She certainly is one heckuva woman.

*raining here on the central coast too...

At 1/14/2006 06:52:00 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Had the opportunity to attend the unveiling of the Spirit of Ranald Reagan with CAP. Unfortunately I had already mad eplans. Looks like I missed something special.

At 1/17/2006 08:44:00 AM, Anonymous Laurie said...

It is funny how different people notice different things in the picture. I noticed how the officers and the officer's wife was looking at her with such respect and affection.

At 1/17/2006 09:27:00 AM, Blogger LinkedInUSAF said...

It is very true that we all see something special in a photo. It is almost a reflection of what we see in the subject, and how we affinitize the scene to what we would feel, say, or do.

It would have been nice to have been at the ceremony. I was active during the switchover to President Reagan and felt better about serving every day. I know that we (the entire US Military) were the future in Ronald Reagan's eyes - I cannot say the same for his predecessor.

At 1/17/2006 12:29:00 PM, Anonymous Kath said...

I noticed the soldiers faces and body language as well. What an amazing thing to have been a part of.

I have the "I Love You, Ronnie" love letters book, it's so sweet, that a relationship is like that.


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