Air Commandos Celebrate Reunion

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The Air Commando Association (ACA) and Hurlburt Field’s host wing, the 16th Special Operations Wing, designated Jungle Jim as the honored group for the 40th anniversary ACA/Hurlburt Reunion. Member Don Maxwell wrote, “Most of us have to struggle over a psychological barrier before filling out the reservation form for any reunion. ‘Do I really want to open that door?’ ‘Will I still fit in’ and a dozen other hang-ups. That’s normal. But did you ever talk to anyone who sucked it up, went back and wasn’t glad they did?!

“Let’s be clear on two points: Whatever one’s retrospective view of the war, and whatever one has or hasn’t done since his Air Commando days—these are irrelevant to your BF-hat buddies, some of the best you ever had. Like you, they volunteered for combat in unmarked aircraft and for tip-of-the-spear ground jobs, in mufti, in unnamed countries of their imagination where the USAF didn’t go.

“Reunion Weekend is a golden trip just for the laughs and the priceless opportunity to tour current special ops aircraft and talk with today’s Air Commandos, the USAF’s busiest people (and loving deployments just like you did!!). But Sunday morning, after you’ve attended the chaplain-led Memorial Service and taken a pensive walk through it, you’ll know why you came back, and why you’ll do it again. Honoring colleagues who, beneath the bravado, shared your 1960s idealism is affirmative male bonding which begs no apology.” Contact 850-581-0099;aircommando1@earthlink.net.

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