Being a volunteer for USO Northwest has held many interesting, fun and fulfilling experiences. Today, tops all.
When I signed up to volunteer for today's event little did I know what was ahead. I thought it was an event hosted by the 142nd Fighter Wing at Portland Air National Guard to thank the employers who are military friendly and willing to flex with the demands of Guard and Reservist duties. It was that, but there was more!
I figured I'd have the opportunity to meet up with a friend of mine who works out at PANG.
That opportunity did not arise today.
However, when I was greeted by one of the coordinators upon arrival and asked if I wanted to go up in a plane, my immediate response was, "OF COURSE I'D LIKE TO GO UP IN A PLANE!!!! Is that an option?"
Fortunately for myself and the other three USO Northwest volunteers it was an option that we all got to partake in, and delighted all of us!
More than one of us commented it was the smoothest flight we'd ever been on. I've never been on a C-135 before, so that was a first. We were told that isn't always the case, so that made it all the more enjoyable! To have so much space and freedom to walk around while up in the air (not sure exactly what our altitude was . . . there were no in flight announcements ;-)
The thrill of being able to see these amazing planes F-16's and F-35's . . . so visually close . . . on such a clear day . . . and watch the amazing event (that is not so amazing to these guys who do it minimally once a week on average) of refueling in flight. Well, it is a day that will go down as one of the best yet for me. One I know will likely not be repeated. And, now I know how to differentiate between an F-15, and F-16 and an F-35.
I just had to put a quick video together to share. Hope you enjoy! Oh, and just so you know, all the images and video used to create this are my own photography. Me and my Iphone6. Well, I did have a little help from Photoshop and IMovie.
Thank you again 142nd Fighter Wing and supporting cast!