[caption id="attachment_865" align="alignleft" width="192"] Photo property of Miki Herman[/caption] April being the Month of the Military Child, gave me the inspiration to share the story from a woman whose experiences as the daughter of an Air Force fighter pilot made me drool (figuratively only of course!). Obviously, her story is unique, but everyone's is. Hers is just incredibly interesting. When I first met her, Miki told me straight up she was a military brat. Caught me a little off guard to hear that from a woman in her sixties. A friend had arranged the meeting, not knowing Miki's family history. She knew Miki as 'the smartest business woman she knew', and since she was retired, might be willing to give me input in getting 2 My Hero established. She delighted in telling me about her life growing up with a father whose job took them to high profile locations in memorable times in history. [caption id="attachment_854" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo credit: Tillamook Air Museum website[/caption] Her father was a test pilot for the P38 in California. They were stationed in England during WWII. He was a fighter escort for North Africa fighting Rommel, and escorted Jimmy Doolittle after the war. He was then assigned to intelligence in Japan, and worked in the same building as General McArthur in Tokyo. He was involved in the building of the first joint U.S./Spain radar station. She remembers a grandfatherly Franco in spotless whole buckskin shoes offering her nougat and meeting Dwight Eisenhower. There was a less exotic time period when they lived in Maine and among other things he was in charge of keeping the runway free of geese. When she was in high school they lived in the Phillipines, and she had the opportunity to meet the Marcos, and see with her own eyes that amazing shoe collection of Imelda's. While living in Philippines, they lived next door to Chuck Yeager. Prior to that posting, her dad suffered a heart attack and could no longer fly. He changed to the role of supporting pilots and ran the Jungle Survival School and the 5th Tactical group that built radar stations in South Vietnam. She played tennis with Kitzy Westmoreland, the Supreme Commander's wife and met Lyndon Johnson. His last military position was investigating military crashes. He retired at the age of 52, and died at the age of 72 when they discovered he had been operating on only 25% use of his heart. This was a man whose parents were Italian immigrants neither of whom finished high school. Admittedly, Miki has a personality that loved the adventure of growing up in this environment, unlike her sister, who did not. I imagine that just like at my family gatherings where my siblings and I remember events very differently, military family gatherings have the same scenario. One child's delight may be another child's agony. Relating to Miki's view is easy for me because one of my personal desires is to visit as many places on the planet as I have opportunity. I may have to live vicariously through her experiences, which in and of itself was a rare treat! Thank you Miki!
- Tags: air force, milfam, military child, military family, Month of the Military Child, Uncategorized, WW2