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What Do You Fly?

Posted by david on 21 June 2012 at 3:52 am

I've been in the USAF for almost 10 years (since October 2002). I've heard some pretty crazy things about us. Here's the deal.

Everyone in the Air Force isn't a pilot. Surprised? Well, we're not. It's a good thing we all aren't, otherwise: there wouldn't be any working jets, no bombs ready to fall or missiles ready to fly, no fuel in the not working jets, no one would get payed, there would be no buildings or even a runway, there would be no one to provide security, no nuclear stockpile waiting for someone really dumb to force us to use them...there'd just be a bunch of "pilots" sitting around with nothing to do. We do a lot more than fly and it takes hundreds of people to fly a plane, even if most of us never leave the ground.

It's a job. It's a really cool job and a lot of times really dangerous, but it's still a job. For some of us it's not just a job though, it's something bigger than any other profession can understand. It's a family, it's a machine, it's living breathing monster waiting for the wrong person to piss it off. What other people in other professions can probably understand is eventually, maybe, it isn't a job anymore. At one point or another something clicks, either on or off, and your view changes. You either click on and suddenly it's not a job anymore, it's what you are or you click off and realize you aren't in the right place anymore. It's the best (or worst--depending on your outlook) job in the world, because few other jobs are also a service to millions of people. 

Most of us hate war. We didn't join the military to fight, we joined to keep someone else from winning (or to go to college, or to grow up, or to get away from someone/something/some place, or...whatever). I joined to see the world and, well, that hasn't worked out so well for me. I also joined to grow up and get away from what I thought was going to be a bunch of really poor decisions. We all join for different, but similar reasons. Everyone has battles in their lives, we just chose to be ready for our battles.

We aren't here because we couldn't make it somewhere else. We aren't dumb (well, most of us aren't). A lot of us are here because we didn't make it somewhere else, but that just means we didn't try as hard as we should have. We failed at something easy so we decided to right it by doing something way harder. My mom doesn't even know exactly what I do and she would probably tie me down and not let me come back if she did. 

Well, that's a few, I'm sure I'll think of a few more for another day.

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