We have to start this New Year with a huge “Thank You” to Don Shepperd. Several of you have already done so, but I want to add that we owe him a huge debt of gratitude for all he has accomplished while he was president of the SSS. What an honor it is to follow in his footsteps.
It cannot be stressed enough how important the Super Sabre Society is to this country, to our families and to ourselves. Our history, our legacy, our contributions to the security of the United States cannot be lost or forgotten.
Members of the SSS flew hundreds of thousands of hours training and maintaining combat readiness for decades. We sat nuclear alert for hundreds of thousands of hours in Europe and the Far East, sometimes on the very brink of warfare. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the fracturing of the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain brought us so close to actually hitting that pickle button.
Most of us flew the Hun in combat in Vietnam where we lost hundreds of aircraft and scores of pilots. Too many of our comrades spent years in North Vietnamese prisons.
None of us will soon forget some of those experiences. Some of them are emblazoned in our memories and seem like they happened just yesterday.
History is so vitally important. Too often, so much that happens in our world is lost because no one took the time to accurately record it. And, the right people to record history are the people who were a part of it. Some people, with very good intentions, try to recreate history. Some of it is accurate, some of it is not.
Our place in history, the F-100 and the men who flew it, in the Cold War and in Vietnam, is one of those pieces of the American story that could easily be forgotten. The efforts of a lot of you who have taken the time, energy and caring to record our story will ensure that when people sit down to read this chapter it is factual.
Ginger and I look forward to seeing all of you in San Antonio in May.
Onward and Upward!