One of the perks – or maybe a downfall to a very few – was growing up in a town with a Naval Air Station next door. This is partly because we are smack dab in the middle of the Midwest. The Navy usually choose locations closer to the ocean. I guess it made parking those big ships easier.
Many of us had parents who worked for Olathe Naval Air Station. (ONAS). My dad was a civilian employee there. About a third of every class in school was Navy family kids.
They were good people. They usually stayed for four years and then went to another base. It was hard to see them go.
This air station trained pilots. The runways are set up to simulate landing on a carrier.
Lots of us Gardner kids grew up listening to jets take off and land .
There was also an occasional sonic boom and some shaking of houses here in town.
My math teacher in junior high was constantly complaining about the noise. She would have to stop teaching and wait for the jets to pass.
Last Thursday a familiar noise was heard over Gardner. You never forget the sound of a jet plane.
The consensus from the people I know is that it gives you goose bumps.
Yes and it makes you proud. A proud you could feel all the way into your chest.
I watched jets from the grocery store parking lot. I watched jets from my driveway. I cheered as they flew right overhead.
You could see the pilots. It was amazing and wonderful.
It brought back memories of being a kid. Feelings of growing up in the era of Tom Cruise and Top Gun.
The Blue Angels and The Thunderbirds filled the skies with beautiful airplanes over the 4th of July weekend. What an awesome experience.