Dawn Patrol


Dawn Patrol connotes many things, but most of all for me, the sense of being up before anyone else and being on watch.

For what? Who knows, but then that’s the point.

After joining the Air Force in 1976 and being deployed overseas, my first “Exercise” (USAF fighters come from US for one to two weeks, to fly and do stuff from a NATO base) that I participated directly in was named Dawn Patrol, Gioia del Colle, Italy.

My drive this morning, 1:56, 127 miles, fastest do far this week, gives me too much time to think.

I think of duty.

“You have to go out, you don’t have to come back”

Taking this class now, which is all about, keeping your passengers safe, makes me cringe when I think of the two captains, Italian and Korean, who were the first off their sinking ships. Two countries I dearly love, yet the Desks have let people be in charge who had no honor, no sense of duty.

In the whole terrible episode recently in South Korea, with a high school class perishing on the ferry to Jeju Island, the only person who took responsibility was the poor vice principal of the school.  In his suicide letter, he apologized for advocating for the trip, and coordinating it.

You have to go out, you don’t have to come back.