Genealogy by Surprise!

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You know you have a serious Genealogy obsession when even going to an Air Show brings out the Genealogist in you.  This past weekend my husband and I attended the “Lightning in the Desert” Air Show at Luke Air Force Base here in Phoenix.  It was filled with people, food and a large variety of planes.

Photography is another passion of mine so I was excited for the opportunity to capture some really great shots of the planes, both on the ground and in the air. It was a great day. As we were leaving I spotted a large plane with the rear lifted up. It was huge! I really don’t know how I missed it when we were coming in. When my husband told me what kind of plane it was, a C-130, I was thrilled. It was the same plane that my brother flew on during the Vietnam War. I immediately jumped into action. I took pictures inside and out of practically every part of the plane. I then talked to the Airman who was standing at the table selling patches and shirts. I asked him questions like “How much different is this plane than the one that was used during the 1960’s?” I then went inside and talked to the two Airmen that were Loadmasters. My brother was the Loadmaster during his 4 tours in Vietnam. I found out exactly what their duties were and how important the position was.

My brother is 18 years older than me. He joined the Air Force when I was 6 months old, as a result I only got to see him about 5 times in my life and I really don’t remember too much about him. In the early 1980’s my mother disowned him and we never heard from him again. I do know that when I was in the 5th grade my mother received a letter from the Air Force. It was a commendation for heroic acts while flying into the jungles of Vietnam. He literally saved the plane from crashing and in turn saved all those onboard. I want to write up his story and now I have pictures to go with it and lots of first-hand information about the plane and the job of a Loadmaster to add to it.

The moral of this story is: You never know when or where you may find answers to your Genealogy questions.

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