All Hail The Aero-Heroes of 2007!
It is both the most "fun," and most difficult, task facing the
ANN staff at the end of every year -- determining who, or what, did
the most to promote the cause of aviation in the past 365 days...
while also chastising those people or entities that did all they
could to undermine the many successes the aviation/aerospace
community has managed to accomplish.
Thankfully, 2007 was a year in which we saw the best and
brightest among us step forward and work tirelessly on behalf of us
all. No doubt about it... the challenges we faced in 2007 were
numerous, and ongoing... so was the quality of expertise and
passion brought to our defense by those who heroically demonstrated
to the world the very best side of aviation... via their deeds,
words and actions.
It is ANN's honor to recognize a solid dozen of our Aero-Heroes
for 2007... in something of an informal order, starting from 12th
to the 1st. Let us know what you think of our selections... whom
YOU would have liked be included or omitted from such a list. In
the meantime, we thank the folks who made this year's list. Thank
you, folks... we really needed you this year, and you didn't let us
From the Hero's List #1: Every Military Aviator In Harm's
One of the benefits of running ANN is the incredible volume of
email we get from readers all over the world... though little of it
has as much value to us as the mail we get from active duty
military flyers working in harm's way to keep us safe and
It's been several decades since I spent my last days in the
military, so I can have but little understanding about what
military life is like these days... especially in places on the
other side of the world that are often as hot as hell, at best
unfriendly, and at worst downright treacherous. Today's
military aviators are flying phenomenally complex and demanding
machines, far from home -- many of them have not seen family or
friends for many months and yet all I read in the letters and
e-mails that we get from overseas is their pride in their service,
their country, and their mission.
Even those with questions and concerns about the mission
overseas in either Iraq or Afghanistan, speak strictly of
their duty to their commanders, their loyalty to their country, and
their willingness to sacrifice much so that the world may be a
little bit better place due to their
efforts. While ANN is (pretty much) all about the
aviation side of things, I'd be remiss if I didn't extend my
pride and thanks to everybody who wears the uniform -- but, of
course, the aviators are the ones that we know best, hear from the
most, and have the best understanding (such as it is) of their
So... all I can say is this, after looking at all the best and
brightest among the folks that made contributions to the world of
aviation this year, we see no choice but to recognize the
sacrifices, the duty, and the dedication of today's military
aviators FIRST and foremost... the personnel who are
protecting you and I in far parts of the world from enemies
that not only don't want us to live as free people, but would
enslave us if they could -- intellectually or physically.
Yeah, we're in awe of the Flyers in our services now...
the Fighter folks, the Helo heroes, the Bomber dudes, the
Transport drivers... you name it. Each and every one of
them has our gratitude and the innate recognition that of all
the good being done for aviation by those others included in the
'Heros' list up to this point, that in our hearts and our
minds they lead the pack.
Ladies and gentlemen, those of you who fly on our behalf have
our gratitude and our greatest hopes that in the not too distant
future we'll be writing about your homecoming, rather than your
continuing sacrifices. God bless...