Blogging from Barksdale

Last week I had the honor of visiting Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I was asked to deliver the keynote speech at the 2006 Eighth Air Force Outstanding Airmen of the Year Banquet by my good friend, Lt. General Kevin Chilton.  Lt. General Chilton is an inspiring leader, a former astronaut and a great American whom I am proud to call my friend.  It was a very special visit, as I had the opportunity to express my sincere gratitude, appreciation and respect to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, the people who wear the uniform of the greatest country in the world.

Medals1_5 The banquet’s theme was, Every Generation has its Heroes, and featured brave airmen from World War II, as well as today.  Those people being honored are my heroes, as are the people who put their lives on the line to protect our country, who fight for the ideal of freedom, and who represent the citizens of our land, the American soldiers, airmen, marines and midshipmen.

I want them all to know that they have my appreciation and respect, as I am overwhelmed and inspired by their unwavering patriotism and unyielding commitment.

I had the unique opportunity to climb inside the cockpit of an A10, and fly in a Lasorda_a_10__11_1 B52 simulator (yes I landed safely).  The banquet was a success and everyone had a great time.  We were able to break bread and have a few laughs; laughter is the food for the soul.  When you can laugh, you can forget any problems you may have in life.  Those airmen made me laugh, and for that I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

2 Comments

Tommy,

I am a veteran of the Air Force and a lifetime Dodger fan. (Notice that the Air Force dress colors are blue)

Thanks for sharing time with our great Military folks. I did enjoy watching the World baseball Classic. We are lucky to have a great player like Ichiro with the Mariners. He is amazing as were some of the WBC Team Japan club players.

Arnold Bunting

Oregon City, OR

Tommy,
I have been a big fan of yours for many years and have been a Dodger Fan since the early 50’s. I think you came up to the Dodgers in 1954.

A week ago I watched a TV program called the “Miracle Workers” with Dr. Lawrence Dorr. The Dorr family told me that he performed surgery on your wife and gave her a new hip. Well his Father Everett was from my home town Marcus,Iowa a small community in northwest Iowa. I have met his father but never met him. It was a great program.

So Tommy I guess you have two Marcus, Ia connections, Dr. Dorr and me.

Looking forward to a great Dodger year. I like some of the moves they have made.

Take care and Best Wishes from Marcus.

Oh yes if you happen to see Mr. O’Malley tell him “Hi” for me.

Jack Clarkson

Marcus, Iowa

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