July 03, 2009

Wake-Up Call from Luke AFB

Just recently I read the response of the original complainant to the response from the USAF Lt Col regarding the original complainant's original complaint. Got that?

If you're already familiar with the original complaint and response, skip down to Tom McRae's response.

Here's the Complaint:

Letter to the Editor (Arizona Republic)
'Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 A.M, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird special? Any response would be appreciated.' _ Tom McRae
Here's Lt. Col. Rosensteel's response:

Regarding 'A wake-up call from Luke's jets'
On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship fly by of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques.

Captain Jeremy Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, 2005, Memorial Day.

At 9 a. m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memoria
l Parkin Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.

Based on the letter writer's recount of the fly by, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.

A four-ship fly by is a display of respect the Air Force gives to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects.

The letter writer asks, 'Whom do we thank for the morning airshow?'

The 56th Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Lt. Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, USAF
Here is the June 28th response from Tom McRae to Lt. Col. Rosensteel:
"I read with increasing embarrassment and humility the response to my unfortunate letter to The Republic concerning an AF flyby (Arizona Republic, June 23).

I had no idea of the significance of the flyby and would never have insulted such a fine and respectful display had I known.

I have received many calls from the fine airmen who are serving or have served at Luke and I have attempted to explain my side and apologized for any discomfort my letter has caused.

This was simply an uninformed citizen complaining about noise.

I have been made aware in both written and verbal communications of the four-ship flyby, and my heart goes out to each and every lost serviceman and woman in this war in which we are engaged.

I have been called un-American by an unknown caller and I feel that must address that. I served in the US Navy and am a Vietnam veteran. I love my country and respect the job the service organizations are doing.

Please accept my heartfelt apologies." _Tom McRae

Well, Mr. McRae, I have a few problems with your response.

You live near an Air Force base. The Air Force has planes. Hello?

Even if you were unaware as to the purpose of the flyby, your sarcastic letter was an insult to one of the very service organizations you claim to respect.

Would you have offered an apology had you not been innundated with righteously angry responses? I think not.

Requiescat In Pace, Captain

No comments: