I made it back to Iwakuni about a week ago. The flights are slowing down and the focus of effort is getting ready to fly home. The jets are getting prepared for our Trans-Pacific flights' the aircrew are gearing up for the long, seemingly endless inflight refueling missions, and everyone is packing their gear.
This is my second deployment to the Western Pacific theater. However, this trip home will be different. Now that I am one of the more senior guys I will be flying every leg of the trip home. As an added bonus, we will not be flying to Guam as we usually do. This time we get to fly instead to Wake Island. There isn't much there, but as with most of the islands in the Pacific, it has historical significance. We usually fly over Wake and I have pictures of it from 25,000 feet up but have never stopped there. Not only is it exciting to see this new place, and to walk with the ghosts of the heroes of the past, it will also shorten the overall time it will take to get to Hawaii and thus allowing the blood to return to my rear end faster. The leg to and from Guam takes us out of the way and Wake is more of a direct route.
The squadron that will replace us on station is arriving shortly. They will assume our mission and we will stand relieve. Then, a little over a week, we will suit up and begin the voyage home. This is always the best part of deployments; heading home knowing that we have completed our mission and will soon be reunited with our families. Plus, getting to spend a couple days in Hawaii on the way back is not too bad either.
The Passing of a Hero - Ken Taylor
2 years ago