Where I live, there's always this massive air show on Labor Day. So my family and I went down to watch it and see all the planes. It'd been a few years since I'd gone, and I was totally floored by the amazing skill of all the pilots. I've always harbored a secret wish to join either the Air Force or the Marines, and after yesterday I remembered why. I was able to crawl through one of ten B-17 Bombers from WWII that still flies, and see everything my Grandpa would've seen when he was a bombardier serving in the war.
I never realized exactly how close he was to the action. The bombardier is the man who sits in the nose of the plane and pilots it while it drops the bombs. He would be the person the Germans/enemy would attempt to take out first, because without him the bombs couldn't be dropped and the plane would probably go down. Most of the bombardiers didn't make it before fighter planes were built that could make the entire journey with them. I've grown up with his stories of the war, but never realized just how lucky I am to have a grandpa who survived that.
Most of my friends grandfathers served in Vietnam, if they served at all; where I go to school, there aren't many people who can claim their family's fought. My Dad fought in Vietnam, my grandpa in WWII, and my great-grandpa in WWI.
Maybe this is why I've always felt drawn to the armed forces and write about them as much as I do.
I don't actually know what bomber that is, because there were a ton of them made for the war, but that would be what my grandpa would have flown and fought in. When I was writing this post last night, I was trying to find a good picture of the nose of the plane, so everyone could see it, but I clicked on a picture from google to get its link and I almost got a virus.
So everyone will have to deal with the one picture.