Gentlemen, if you were not at Ft Rucker on Nov 1 you missed something special. Dean and Kerry were the consummate host and hostess. Kerry arranged a motel room for Phoenix Ops, special Phoenix t-shirts (they are gorgeous) and coffee cups, adult beverages, breakfast coffee and buns, and to top it off we were treated to a Brazilian dinner. WOW!
Skip Parker has been involved in the new Mike-Model Black Hawk (UH-60M) program, so he arranged a special trip to Lowe Field the morning of Russell's graduation. We were met by an Army captain who spent all morning wiping drool off our mouths. Guys this aircraft is awesome. True star wars. Four computer-type screens in the dash with two joy sticks on the console. Thank you Skip!
Graduation ceremonies were held in the Army Aviation Museum auditorium. Approximately 12 Commissioned and 40 WO graduates were in class 08-1. Each graduate was introduced in small groups, at which time Kerry and Dean stepped forward to pin wings on Russell's chest. Is it possible we looked that good at 22?
While the classes may be smaller, the pride glowing on the faces of the graduates and Moms and Dads never changes. When the Phoenix gather it always is a special occasion, as in Fruita, or the picnic with active-duty Phoenix at Ft Campbell, and now we've witnessed the next generation take his first steps as an Army Aviator. It doesn't get any better than this. Thank you Kerry and Dean!
Ken Mayberry, Phoenix 50
There is no more pride in or fitting tribute to our legacy, or to that of our parents and grandparents and all before them who also served, than to see the tradition and sense of duty and responsibility carried on by our children. In early November 2007 a gaggle of old Phoenix returned to Mother Rucker to pat the Army's newest aviators on the back, and to cheer them for a job well done. Most of the graduates had family members present to pin on their wings, but only one had almost enough to launch a combat assault ... as Mayberry put it, it just doesn't get any better.
Ted Olson, Phoenix 65
Mark your calendar! Dean and Kerry Grau are proud to announce the graduation of their son Russell from Army Aviation Flight School, on November 1, 2007 at Fort Rucker. Russ trained in Blackhawks and has received orders to Egypt as his first assignment. The ceremony will be held at the Army Aviation Museum at 2:00PM, followed by a party and mini Phoenix reunion. Check here periodically for more information.
UNIFORM OF THE DAY: Dean says, "I like the shirts we had in Fruita and plan to bring that one, along with some of the others I've got. In addition, Kerry and I ordered new ones for everyone this time -- with a little different pattern than the usual. We'll see what you guys think. Also had some coffee mugs made up for everyone in the same pattern. Judging from the pics of graduations past, I'm planning to have a sport coat and tie along for the actual ceremony at the museum, and will have a Phoenix shirt or two on underneath."