Armed Forces Day 1965 holds special memories for me. It was a big deal for a military brat. I was living on Biggs Air Force Base in El Paso, Texas.
Living on a USAF base was wonderful as an eleven and twelve years old boy. I had so many other boys my age to play with. Boy Scouts was a big deal to me in 1965. I loved wearing the uniform, going hiking, camping, and our community action projects.
Armed Forces Day 1965 was a community action project for the Boy Scout Troop I belonged to that year. We went on the flight line (the tarmac and runway). We touched the airplanes. We went inside some of the airplanes. It was the adventure of a lifetime for a boy.
In May 1965, the television show Twelve O’clock High was big on TV. It had B-17s airplanes on it. We had a B-17 present that Saturday for Armed Forces Day. Allowed to sit in the gunner turrets, sit at the radio, and sit in both the pilot and co-pilots seats I felt like I was a star on Twelve O’clock High. At the end of the day, they took some of us Boy Scouts up in the B-17. I felt like I was in heaven.
Other airplanes I was able to go into included the B-52B Bomber and the only C-123 at the base. I did not get to go for a flight in them.
Most of the day the Boy Scouts either worked serving refreshments to the dignitaries or being the guides to move the big shots from the holding rooms to their appointed assignments.
It was one of the most fun days I ever had growing up. I was sure that day I would go to the US Air Force Academy and become a US Air Force officer. That didn’t happen. Instead, nine years later I became a US Army Officer. That is another story for another day.
Yes, it was great growing up as a military brat.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Bewildering Stories and Beyond Imagination. When not writing each morning at his favorite coffee house, he supports his writing, reading, and book reviewing habit working as an IT application support analyst. He is a former Captain in the US Army. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. You can visit him at http://www.jimmiekepler.com.