Airport Manager Pat manning the entry tent.

Airport Manager Pat manning the entry tent.

Last month, Pacific Air Comfort was proud to once again sponsor the Day of Recognition honoring our Veterans and First Responders. It was the third year for the event. The weather was beautiful and through the collaborative efforts of Pacific Air Comfort, VFW Post 2468, the Roseburg Airport, Western Oregon Flying, Logger’s Tap House, Bigfoot Bottling (Pepsi), Frito-Lay, Charlie Company, many local Veteran organizations, Fire District 2, Roseburg Fire, Brooke Communications and many more, the day was a big success.

The day started at 8:30 with Charlie Company Color Guard. Reverend Dwayne Brown from the VA said a blessing followed by the bagpipes playing Amazing Grace. County Commissioner Susan Morgan was in attendance and spoke briefly. Following the opening ceremonies, a Boeing Stearman provided by Ageless Aviation Dreams began taking Veterans up to fly over Roseburg and the surrounding area as a thank you for their service. The Veterans spanned from WWII to Desert Storm and represented all branches of the Service.

Ageless Aviation Dreams is an organization that travels the country taking Veterans up in the cockpit of a Boeing Stearman, a bi-plane commonly used to train military pilots in WWII. Going up in the Stearman is a moving experience for the WWII Veterans, taking them back to their youth when they felt invincible and ruled the sky as proud military aviators. For those that were not even alive during WWII, getting to go up in a Stearman is a thrill. The sites, sounds, feelings are incredible. For more information on Ageless Aviation Dreams, please go to agelessaviationdreams.org .

The Boeing Stearman was easy to fly and relatively forgiving of new pilots. It gained a reputation as a rugged airplane and good teacher. Officially named the Boeing Model 75, the plane was (and still is) persistently known as the “Stearman” by many who flew them. It was called the “PT” by the army, “N28” by the navy and “Kaydet” by Canadian forces. More than 10,000 Stearman were built by the end of 1945 and at least 1000 are still flying today.

While the Veterans were up flying, there was plenty for those down on the ground to see and do. First and foremost it was an opportunity for the community to come together and say thank you to the Veterans and the First Responders and hear their stories. There were also many of the local Veteran services present to provide information to Veterans and their families as to what programs are available to help with their needs. A handful of the Stray Angels had their vehicles out for everyone to look at. Roseburg Fire had their large ladder truck on hand with the flag flying off it. A local gentleman that collects Vietnam era weaponry and vehicles had one of his trucks there and Charlie Company brought over a Humvee.

Logger’s Tap House had a BBQ to raise money for Veteran’s Relief. Sam, the owner of Logger’s, was on hand and cooked up some delicious hamburgers. Tom Loomis of Pepsi donated all the soda and Frito-Lay the chips.

It was a wonderful day and a true honor for Pacific Air Comfort to participate in. We are committed to sponsoring this event again next year and plans are underway already. We want to see this event grow larger each year and draw more people. If you know of anyone that collects military vehicles or memorabilia honoring Veterans that like to show it to the public, please have them contact Lisa at Pacific Air Comfort’s Roseburg office. We are also looking for any vintage cars or motorcycles customized to honor Veterans.

Here are some pictures from this years event. Thank you again to our Veterans and First Responders!!

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