May 1, 2004
Dressed for Success
No, let's talk instead about the dress-up game that was played by our favorite Commander in Chief. If our President was really interested in finding out about how life goes on in a giant man-of-war like Lincoln, he might visit her in actual combat when the ship is launching and recovering strike aircraft around the clock, in heavy seas and sloppy weather. It might not make for such a good photo op, but I bet that the ship's company would appreciate it. If he wants to see what real aviation skill is about, he might try a night carrier landing on one of those pitching decks that has suddenly been reduced to postage stamp size, with poor visibility and no horizon. Carrier aircraft recoveries under such conditions have been aptly described as controlled crashes.
William had a front row seat for aircraft that failed to catch a wire, went bolter across the flight deck, or failed to get airborne. Many an hour he spent on the bridge of a tin can making holes in the ocean while searching for a downed pilot, never lucky enough to find more than a few soggy seat cushions (hardly solace for the grief of a family waiting in vain for news of a missing aviator). No, Mr. President, in my book you have not earned the right to wear a Navy flight suit. Seeing you strut for the cameras that day evoked in me some of the same emotion one can get from viewing a pimply-faced punk casually wearing an article of US military uniform clothing that he bought for a few dollars in a thrift shop.
A personal favor please, Mr. President; next time you feel like playing dress up combatant, do it on dry land. Better yet, when next the urge to don a flight suit overtakes you, go back to Texas, or to Alabama, and make up some of that flight time in the Air National Guard to compensate for the periods you can't seem to account for before you failed to show for your annual flight physical, and were grounded.
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Last updated on June 4, 2004