If you have not read my post “Air Force Academy Visits AeroKnow Museum” at my personal blog Honey & Quinine, I hope you will before continuing with this one. Scroll down after clicking on the link on the right.
The Tuesday after their visit, an assistant to the superintendent of the Academy e’d me indicating he requested my home address. I gladly sent it, along with a link to Honey & Quinine and this blog, which I hope some of the visitors will read occasionally.
A few days after that, I received, in the mailbox here at the Museum, a note from the Dean of Faculty, a one-star general, that read as follows:
“Dear Mr. Conger, Job — Thank You for your work contributing to the AeroKNow Museum. Your life’s passion is infectious! I truly appreciate the tour you provided to the USAF Academy Leadership Team ou our refueling stop on the way to the White House.
Four days later, I received this note from three-star, Lieutenant General Mike Gould, United States Air Force Academy Superintendent:
What a thrill it was for us to meet you this week and to have the chance to visit your museum! It’s aviation enthusiasts/historians like you who light the fires in ‘our replacem,ents’ ‘ eues! Thanks for all you do & a special thanks for the signed copy of Springfield Aviation!
As we walked over to the terminal, looking for, hoping for an OPEN Subway Shop restaurant, I asked Lt. Gen. Gould if I could take a few pictures of his team in the AeroKnow Museum office — NOT to even imply USAFA endorsement of this museum, but to simply record their visit. He immediately, graciously assented. Sharing the test of the notes subsequently received is also not intended at an endorsement of this enterprise. It is intended to reveal what consumate professionals in the US military thought of their encounter with the collection. Total time on the ground was less than an hour, most of it conversing with yours truly, and they did not see the rooms coming together upstairs.
What they did not appreciate as they boarded their C-26, running just a little behind schedule for the recognition dinner to be enjoyed at the White House before sunset, was how there reaction TRIPLED my resolve to prove worthy of their obvious esteem for my effort — and the efforts of all who have donated time, dollars and resources to AeroKnow.
I don’t know that I’ll see any of the more-than-20 men and women of the USAFA who packed into the office that magic Sunday, but I will remember always their joyful encounter and the words on the “coin” of the Superintendent, United States Air Force Academy, given to the Museum at the end of their visit::
“Integrity, Service, Excellence.”