Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Pardo's Push" -- Bravery, Ingenuity, Loyalty

(Painting of "Pardo's Push" by Steve Ferguson)

If stories of military heroism are to be told, we will have to tell them ourselves.

The Main Stream Media only want to run negative stories about our armed forces, and overlook their daily accomplishments and triumphs in the face of danger and hardship. They are more interested in securing a jury trial for an enemy captured on the battlefield with a weapon in his hand, and are only interested in the story of the brave, highly trained professional who captured him if a Koran may have been soiled in the process.

I recently posted the first installment covering my assignment as a Budget Officer to the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing in England in 1970. During my five years there, serving on the best base doing the best job I had in my over 21-year career, I met and worked with some of the greatest guys the world will ever know – the guys who flew and maintained the magnificent F-4 (Phantom) fighter-bomber. Using all the capabilities of the versatile F-4, they flew every mission ever designed for a fighter/bomber/reconnaissance bird, and some that no one could dream up.

This is the story of one such mission, called “Pardo’s Push,” that happened over Vietnam in 1967. I just learned of it the other day in an email chat with one of the guys I was stationed with in England in the 1970’s. I barely knew this fellow, a flight surgeon (a military doctor assigned directly to a flying unit, who provides primary medical care for the members of the unit both at the home base and when deployed) assigned to an F-4 squadron, but in the military you know someone who knows someone this fellow knew, and everyone’s experiences become part of a body of shared experiences. When one of the guys does something he can be proud of, we are all proud of it.

Because of Pardo’s heroics, a trained aircrew was saved from death or eight years of brutal captivity in a North Vietnam POW camp, and from suffering the indignity of a Jane Fonda visit.

Please go here for an incredible tale of bravery, ingenuity, and loyalty.

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