Air Force Academy Commencement 2013
Finally a General officer who exhibits courage in contrast to many of his contemporaries in the Pentagon and elsewhere.
2013 is the first Air Force graduation on record that has occurred under a Sequester created by a nonfunctioning Congress and an unyielding Obama Administration. Due to operating under this Sequester, the ceremonies proceeded as follows:
President Obama regretfully declined the kind invitation of the Commandant of the Air Force Academy to speak to the graduates and their families on the occasion of their graduation, saying he was committed to addressing the graduates at West Point. Instead it was established that Vice President Biden was free and he would come to Colorado Springs. And as to the request for the usual fly-over by the US Air Force Thunderbirds, that was declined again due to the Sequester.
After consultation with his chain of command, the Commandant of the Air Force Academy respectfully notified the White House that due to the Sequester's cancellation of the traditional fly-over of the Thunderbirds that he was confident that the nation didn't need the added $1 million + expense to fly Air Force 2, of any configuration or model, and the added expense of the Secret Service and their entourage required when the Vice President traveled. So he respectfully cancelled his initial request for a speaker from the White House for the commencement.
So the commencement went off as planned sans representation from the Obama Administration. It looked like this:
The featured speaker was an Under Secretary of the Air Force who is a decorated Viet Nam veteran. The Secretary flew back and forth from Andrews AFB to Peterson AFB In Colorado Springs on a routine training flight conducted by the Air Force thus costing the American tax payers nothing.
There were nearly as many Air Force General Officers in attendance as there were family members. A dozen or more 4 Star Generals, three or four times as many 2 and 3 Stars and an untold number of 1 Star Generals. And, of course countless Colonels and below.
Most of these officers were themselves alumni of the Air Force Academy and wanted nothing less than to present a perfect program for the graduating class. Since the Congress and the Obama Administration could not see fit to allow for a fly-over by the Thunderbirds, a number of the senior generals took matters into their own hands. And so, when the speeches were over, the hats were all thrown into the air, and all the family hugs were all made and it became time for the fly-over, a roar of engines was detected from the West of the air strip and parade grounds there at the facility...and everyone was treated to a fly-over by the Confederate Air Force. Looking up they saw all kinds of vintage aircraft from B-17s B-24s, B-25s, P-38s, P-51s and others all represented by manufactures such as Corsairs, Grumman, Lockheed, and Boeing who still provide parts availability for these aircraft, and flown by our heros from prior conflicts who still see fit to stay active for services such as this.
It was a wonderful experience for all who were there. I am sure you will join me in offering a salute to these serving officers who saw fit not to rob the 2013 graduating class of their day of celebration, and to our heroes who flew the planes for this worthy occasion and, oh yes, to the many private donors who pitched in and covered the expenses involved in bringing these aircraft in to Colorado Springs from various locations across the country.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE SALUTE YOU