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Fourth of July Empowerment Editorial – Jet Jockey Jam The Sorties Of Life

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Fourth of July Personal Empowerment Editorial

Jet Jockey Jam

The Sorties Of Life

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The sun is up.

We suit up.

In the cockpit, we taxi out on to the Active Runway Of Life.

We tromp the “pedal to the medal” and kick in the afterburners.

Rockin and rollin’ into the Wild Blue Yonder. Another day at school, another day at the office, another day on the farm – whatever our job – we have a few hours to work to earn the paycheck to put food on the table, a roof over our head, gas in the car and try to make it home in one piece.

We all do the “Jet Jockey Jam.”

We all fly “The Sorties Of Life,” each day.

Airborne, we soar through the clouds and think about the day’s “mission.” We know the day’s “objectives,” But, we also know we have to be ready for the “bandits and bogeys” that will drop out of the sun and “engage” us during the flight.

No day in Life – is truly “a routine flight.” We soar along until some challenge “flames” us – then, the “Jet Jockey Jam Joined,” – we respond – our guns blazing !

Pitch, roll, bank, climb, drop down, pop up, turn, burn, – drop down on the deck, and trim the tree tops.” “Locked and loaded” – we engage the bogey and bandits of our lives. The unpredictable events of life is like weather that comes out of know where to create the turbulence and stress in our lives. We ride out the lightning strikes of life and stay focused to try and fly through the zero visibility cloud cover of life.

We pray.

Sometimes in our Sortie Of Life, we are fortunate enough to have a “wingman” to watch our “six.”

We sit in the cockpit and fly our daily Sorties Of Life. We try to avoid the “flame outs.” We ride the rough air and take the flak and try not to “punch out” or “crash and burn.” At the day’s end, we line it up and try to glide in for an easy landing. At home, we take off our “poopy suits,” and chow down. Then, we debrief in front of the “boob tube” and realize again tomorrow we’ll do “The Jet Jockey Jam” and fly another “Sortie of Life.”

Like it or not, Life is combat – even in peacetime. We all face the “bandits” and “bogeys” and just try to make a few coins of the realm to put food on the table and a roof over our head.

What we forget is we are not alone.

Jet Jockey Jam Hand Of God - Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. The F-4 Rhino military aircraft in the photo - obviously, is not real. This F-4 is a wooden replica carved and painted by a Filipino craftsman. At my Fairwell Party at Clark Air Base Republic of the Philippines, this unique artistic gift was presented to me. It fits on a black base, where the names of the people I served with are inscribed. Once I wrote my Jet Jockey Jam article, I treid to think of some clipart to go with the story. I glanced over at a dresser and the F-4 model grinned back at me. Story Behind The Photo - I looked at the F-4 model and thought of line art to support my editorial. Thus, the afternoon of June 28, 2011, I take the model, a camera and walk out the door to the pasture. I raised up the model against the sky and tried numerous shots. I selected a photo and opened it in an older version of JASC Paint Shop Pro, then, I opened the photo into a version of Corel Paint Shop Pro. I couldn't get the image I wanted. I ended up wasting more time trying to fix the photo by removing the black base arm that supported the model airplane, than it took for me to originally write the editorial. The words of the editorial flowed fairly easily, but, I went back and wordsmithed words and the overall flow of the article. I spent at least two hours writing and tweaking the article. The original photo I had selected to edit was beginning to require meticulous brain surgery that seem to require a pixel by pixel correction to try and eliminate the black base out of the photo. After several minutes of trying to paint out the black base, the portion closest to the model plane seemed too close to safely paint out of the photo. Thus, I discarded the original and selected this photo. I decided to leave the hand in the photo for a different view of an airborne aircraft, per se. Basically, all I had to do with this photo is to lighten the background to lighten up the sky. I believe the hand in the photo may cause readers to pause and look at the photo for a moment. The Hand Of God cutline will probably upset some religious people, but that is okay - I've spent most of my life annoying holy men and orthodox religions - and, I'm not going to change. After all, I've always believed God has a sense of humor - he did create humankind. Since there weren't any supermodels "handy," I became the hand model and the photographer. It's not to easy to balance a camera and click the shutter while holding something up at arm's length. Feel free to smile at the photo.

Society At Large has convinced us all that we are Atlas doomed to always carry the weigh of the world upon our shoulders. None of us should ever feel like Life is “A Suicide Mission.”

We all serve in Humankind’s Life Force. We all have our Headquarters Of Obligations. We all have our Numbered Forces of Responsibilities. But, we all have our Wings Of Colleagues. We all have our Groups Of Fellow Workers, Squadrons Of Friends and Flights Of Family.

Farmer, secretary, neurosurgeon or grade school student – we all settle into the cockpit alone. Each day, we taxi past our crew chiefs, who give us the “thumbs up” as we turn out on to the Active Runway Of Life.

In the thickest cloud cover, we sometimes forget to glance out the canopy and notice the other jets soaring alongside us. Above us and below us, we are “boxed in” by our fellow airmen of life, who are flying the Same Survival Sortie.

We need to remember besides our “God-given skills and intellect,” the love of our family is the “Whammo Ammo” of life. We can count on the Ordnance Of Life Of Family Love because it is the “missiles beneath our wings” that keeps us on course and on target.

We all have our days, when we take our hits and limp back to repair our battle damage.

Still, we don’t “punch out “ along the way.

We take the “flak.”

A Sudden Life and Death Crisis – sometimes forces us to “fly by the seat of our pants.”

We don’t always “hit the target,” but, we are always “on target.”

Until we fly our Final Flight, we do “The Jet Jockey Jam” each day of our lives. When we finally “cool our jets” and taxi in to “shut her down” for the last time, we need to climb down from the cockpit and stroll confidently down the flight line into the Sunset Of Infinity. We take the first step into the “Base Ops Of The Afterlife, with the conviction that we did our best.

We all fly our Sorties Of Life. We should retire from our Mission Of Life pleased with our efforts.

Our family and friends will have their own daily sorties to plan and fly. But, from time to time, they may recall or share some of our “war stories.” They will smile at our “wheels up,” “barrel rolls,” “wing waves,” and “barnstorming” aerobatics of our lives. They will bring people to the edge of their seats with the tales of our exploits of dropping “down on the deck,” and “afterburners blazing” to “pray, play, or pay” for those risky gambles in the Sorties Of Life.

Tomorrow, is another Jet Jockey Jam in the Sortie Of Life.

And, may our family members never forget the Day Of “Our Missing Man Formation.”


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