Air Guard’s charter members reflect on first 60 years [Repost]

The Air Force’s 60th birthday in 2007 generated a lot of news assignments and traveling for me, to air shows and interviewing people, including this interview with 90-year-old Harry Emily. Mr. Emily passed away nearly three years to the day after this article published, which proved the importance of telling his and others’ stories before they are gone forever. I always felt a responsibility to include history articles as much as news and commentary in my efforts as a military journalist. For young journalists, no one is going to tell you to write these stories; it’s instead a responsibility that comes with managing the position. The opportunities come to you, which you should not ignore.

eartheditor

Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith
National Guard Bureau

(Note: This reposted article was originally written and published April 9, 2007)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AF NEWS) — Their membership gets older and smaller every day. Nearly 60 years have passed since they formed, but time has not removed distant memories of 1946 and 1947 after these veterans helped claim victory in World War II and flew as Air National Guardsmen. 

You may have met them on your drill weekends outside your shop or at a base function. He was that man with the silver hair who grabbed your elbow in the hallway one Saturday afternoon to tell you about those who came before you. Or it was another senior citizen describing how his and other Airmen’s voices filled the cockpits of retired aircraft and echoed in hangars long since torn down.

They are the Air Guard’s charter Airmen. They will be there…

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