"I gave my father the gift of “tell me how”. I had a prideful feeling when I saw him light up while looking at it. He said that reading it brought him back 35 years. I wanted to share this with you to thank you for this work of art. " Connor S.
The poster brought out feelings.
“I took an A-4 to the boneyard in Arizona. The jet flew well, it felt good, and I KNEW it was on it's last flight. I wanted to yank and bank it, give it one more chance to be a fighter (as if it had feelings). I felt so bad for the jet when I shut it down.”
"I think we've been waiting for a long time for someone to capture the feel of "the office." There's so much in the text that only we ever experienced, privately, and could never find the words to express. So, just wanted to thank you for the words, but also what the poster does for those who read it then look at me and feel he/she knows something personal, private about me in a way I would never openly share."
The River Rats weigh in.
"Tell Me How" brings those unique feelings out in a way that matches Richard Bach’s classic book on flying fighters, "Stranger To The Ground”, while at the same time making it much more concise and personal along the lines of the immortal "High Flight” poem that all us of know so well. Makes you miss those days and envy those still doing it."
Craig “Pontiff” Pope
Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association
It's all in the family.
"I was a Viper guy, as was my younger brother. Our dad was an F-4 guy and is still with us and still proclaims himself the “greatest fighter pilot,” as you would expect. I ordered (a mug) for each of us. Cheers and V/R."
More memories -- F105
Even after a long wait, there was happiness. "Yay! It made it today and we immediately got it in its frame!! Thank you so much! It's awesome and my hubby loves it!"
"Ordered one framed. It looks sharp. Makes me feel it all over again."
“… just lived a day in my life all over again. This guy gets it.”
A Tomcat pilot correct us
“(The poster) says everything ...but (there's) no drive home from an aircraft carrier.” Naval Aviation Wings of Gold
"Do you sell to retailers?'
That question came in the mailbag today and the answer is "Yes, we do." To instantly qualify you have to be a museum that self-identifies as military/aviation, or, be a retailer on the bases. All others -- send inquiry first and we'll get you qualified. Thank you.
Another wall made personal with the ode to flying.
"The words on that poster exquisitely bring back wonderful memories of my fighter pilot days. It's exactly as written. " F-4 Phantom pilot
Tell me how …
Tell me how to match the feeling of flight withoutflying…
To match the feeling of the walk out to yourjet in the scorching heat, the searing sounds, and the sweat-soaked earplugs inyour ears.
To match the strap-in…when suddenly yourealize this is nothing like the sim you did yesterday.
Tell me how to match how you feel: your bodyweighted down by gear and already exhausted, your wingman's jet-blast in yourface, stress and pure joy mixing around in your blood.
Tell me how to match the cockpit...the sun,the glare, the heat, the worn buttons, the vibration, the noises (what was that!?)…the cold, familiar-odoroxygen flowing...hitting your wet face and somehow cooling your entire body;the pressure of the mask on your nose.
Tell me how to match the chance of death, therisk, and the thought that it will never be you.
Tell me how to match the thrust, the Gs, theG-strain, the grey out, the 'holy shit ease off!', the master caution lights;digging around in the bottomless map-case to look for your checklist; how it’sso difficult to find while you try to control yourself and the thing you arestrapped into.
Tell me how to match the feel of your heartrate rise just before "turn in, fights on." Tell me how to match themerge, that want and NEED to win, knowing you're pushing your body and the jetfaster, higher, tighter, slower, than you've ever had it and not being totallysure you will keep it together.
Tell me how to match being beaten...and theawful smile you know your wingman gives you under his mask when he gets on yourwing.
To match the 2 minutes you get each sortiewhere you finally look around at the world and realize that you’re doing theone thing you always wanted to do for the 308th time ...the split second yourgive to your mind to think of your wife, your kids, your fear, your friend whodied doing this exact thing; then the rapid jerk back into reality, and you areagain immersed.
Tell me how to match the shocking feelingwhen you finally understand the fight and the world around you; like yourinstructor did years before when you thought he was a god.
Tell me how to match the night. How the wholeworld transforms into darkness and green glows...how it closes in on you...howup can be down, and down can be up, and fast can be up, and slow can be down.
Tell me how to match the landing…the check tomake sure for the 15th time that your gear is down. Wait, is it!? The hope thatyou'll see the lights running through the low clouds below you; the hope thatthe earth really is down there.
Tell me how to match the taxi-back…how you'realready thinking all over, of how it went wrong, and what you'll debrief.
Tell me how to match the shutdown...and thewind hitting you after your crack the canopy open...the quiet walk in after thejets are asleep. The clank of turbine blades slowly turning in a wind-blownmotor.
Tell me how to match the debrief, the stress,the pens, the realization you didn't know what you thought you knew. Thethought that you should be better...better than this.
Tell me how to match the drive home, thethinking it over and over and over and over and over and over; thetoo-tired-to-talk-to-your-wife flop onto the bed. Tell me how the best fighterpilots in the world got to be so damned good.
Tell me how to match the feeling of waking upthe next day and wanting nothing more than to do it all again.