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#1 Joe Beebe CW4 Ret  2017-04-19 12:19
C/3-17Cav 2009-2011
Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, GA
OEF 10, RC-East, FOB Fenty, Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan

Our troop had names for all the aircraft stenciled on the air intake cowling, beneath the mast. Some were porn stars ("Jenna" was one of them, of course)... as the troop SP, I took a different route with acft 365; My daughter was born 2 weeks before we deployed in 2009 and I thought 365 was a fitting number, as it represented the (approximate) number of days I would miss her growing up. So acft 365 was named "Ryan Caroline" and she flew regularly and admirably in Afghanistan, always a workhorse and never a problem acft. We handed her off the next unit (C/6-6 Cav, Ft Drum, NY) who brought her home 2 yrs later.

In 2013, as a member of a DES inspection team, I travelled to Drum for a unit eval and found 365 in the hanger. "Ryan Caroline" was still on the cowling but had been painted over. I could still make out the letters of my daughters name if I caught the light "just so". It was a great reunion and I annoyed/made everyone come see my daughters name, hidden in carc paint!!!

RIP, 365, you earned my love, and a well deserved rest.
...we'll fly together again on fiddlers green.

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