74th Fini Flight

This morning Bryan left me a note on the counter that said, “I’ll have a Lt. call you if I need to land early”.  The weather looked a bit iffy – calling for scattered thunderstorms this afternoon when he was intended to land.  And the trick for a fini flight is to be there when he lands; that’s the point! 1420.

The kids and I spent the morning getting a few things packed into our Korea Piles – what goes, what stays, what goes fast, and what we take with us.  Anyway, mostly they got muddy playing out back.  Their outside toys have been sifted through, but the blow up pool that Grandpa Joe brought is still here and still fun (even in the drizzle).  At one o’clock we loaded into the car and went to walmart.  I’ve been checking my phone obsessively as the weather has gotten cloudier and lower.  No call yet, still on time.  We picked up some cupcakes and cookies before driving through Taco Bell for a super healthy lunch of chicken soft taco’s.  Made it to the front gate by 1345 to sign in some of Bryan’s local friends and then we got to the squadron.  Still on time!  Wheww!  Now we wait.

It wasn’t long to hang out until we got the word that he was landing so we walked out to the flightline and waited at the assigned canopy.  As he taxied up Zoe got super excited, “can I spray him yet?”  She has been looking forward to this for weeks.  Tradition goes that you hose down the pilot on his last flight for the squadron, and Zoe wanted to do it.  They had a water-filled fire extinguisher ready for her and it was all she could do to wait while he finished his landing checklist.  Then, as soon as he started down that ladder, she let the spray go!  He was soaked before he hit the ground!    I also tried to squirt him with the sparkling cider ‘champagne’, but got hit with Zoe’s spray and gave up.  Eventually Bryan got the hose from her and sprayed Zoe a bit, but soon it was back in her hands and he just stood there and took it…with a smile on his face.   Confused little Avi just stood staring the entire time.

Once the water was done all the squadron and base folks shook Bryan’s hand with congratulations.  We stayed around the A-10 for a bit to take pictures and look at the plane before walking back to the squadron for a bit of a party.  Bryan had gotten pizza and some veggie trays that we added the cupcakes too.  The kids mostly just ran around and ate icing while Bryan and I chatted with folks.  Then we went home.  Time in the 74th Fighter Squadron has come to an end.  On to Korea!

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