Did you ever wonder…

what it's like to fly the great F-4 Phantom in combat? Or to rotate a C-130A Hercules to a vertical climb from takeoff? Or to dodge dozens of SAMs and thousands of rounds of AAA? Or what it's like to fly in a missing-man formation over the Super Bowl? Or how to consistently win an old-fashioned dog fight? Or just how good the F-15 Eagle really was… and still is?

The answer to these and other questions are contained in this collection of short stories, articles, letters, and a number of candid personal observations that reflect the twenty-six year career path of an Air Force pilot.

The stories herein run the gamut from aerial combat such as that shown on the book's cover, to human interest experiences as seen through the author's eyes. Indeed, a limited number of them are rife with slang, acronyms and technical detail that will only be fully appreciated by those in the fighter community. However, most of the chapters have universal appeal and in the end are a tribute to those officers, NCOs and airmen who believed that the mission of the United States Air Force was " to fly and fight"… and they didn't forget it.

Opinion Essays

Letter to the President

From the Air Force Daily Report of 8 March 2017 on a symposium composed of operators of the nation’s best fighters: “For far too long we have measured our capability against their capability in linear fashions, such as the speed or agility of the aircraft. That is an ancient way of thinking that is not relevant anymore.”
more >>

Dealing with Cockroaches

Imagine you are a soldier, a member of our armed forces, a proud American, a citizen watching this crisis unfold. Imagine you look to your leader for direction, for assurance and confidence. Imagine your commander in Chief takes the podium and gives the following address: more >>

Betrayal in Benghazi

The combat code of the US Military is that we don’t abandon our dead or wounded on the battlefield. In US Air Force lingo, fighter pilots don’t run off and leave their wingmen. If one of our own is shot down, still alive and not yet in enemy captivity, we will either come to get him or die trying ... more >>

John Kerry

I had a dream last night. There sat the dog-faced John Kerry before the Senate confirmation hearings for his appointment as Secretary of State. After the Chair had praised his vast "diplomatic experience", followed by tribute to his integrity, honorable service, etc., he finally turns the hearing over to the rest of the panel for questioning ... more >>

Remembering D-Day

The first time I saw the movie “Saving Private Ryan”, it moved me to tears. Since I was born in 1935, I was only a kid during World War II, but not so young I didn’t realize what was going on ... more >>

Within the U.S. Air Force fighter pilot community, the term "throw a nickel on the grass ..."

embodies an expression of mutual respect and good luck from one warrior to another. It stems from the refrain of an old Korean War barroom ballad… "Throw a nickel on the grass, save a fighter pilot's ass" and was later immortalized by an unknown author's closing words in his Tribute to the Fighter Pilot …

"So here's a nickel on the grass to you, my friend, and your spirit, enthusiasm, sacrifice and courage - but most of all to your friendship. Your's is a dying breed and when you are gone, the world will be a lesser place."

What that nickel is truly worth is described on these pages.