My son my inspiration
His passion for flying began at a very young age.....
My oldest son, ever since he was a tiny toddler made me laugh and would also make me cry. I was very young when I gave birth to this beautiful son of mine. I have two other children and they are all my pride and joy. But with Ken, I wasn't very experienced at the parenting part yet. As he grew older he had a mind of his own. He was so independent and very curious. At the very young age of 4, at his very first air show in San Jose, he got a taste for the amazing “Harrier jet”. He screamed really loud in fright and hid from the noise, little did we know that his future was going to be in “flying”.
I have to tell you that during his younger years the love of flying was in his blood. After his first taste of jets, this young boy was hooked, hook line and sinker. By age 5, he could tell you if the plane coming in your direction was a 737 or a 747, I still don’t know the difference, but he did. He could hear the sound of a jet and was able to call it before he even saw it. It was amazing to see the passion he had at that young age for flying.
He had also learned to fly on his commodore 64 computer, remember those. That was a long time ago, then we upgraded to a Tandy 1000, this really takes me back. The Christmas that we gave him the FA-18 flying computer program, he about died. While other kids were skate boarding, my son was at the small airport here in Oak Harbor near our home talking to the pilots. Ken would ride his 10 speed bike to the airport strip and wait to talk to whoever would listen. He also befriended some pilots who would take him up in their small planes, my son was on cloud 9. At the airport he was referred to as the “airport bumb”. He loved it.
My son went through the usual teen age years, working at Wendy’s after school, playing tennis and golf. He was very good at everything he attempted, my sisters named him my “Golden Child”, I don’t know if he ever knew that. He did really well in school and at time of graduation he gave us the news that he was going to enlist into the Navy.
My son wasn't going to settle for second best.....
So the day arrived when it was time to enlist in the Navy. Right before this happened in 1991, the US invaded Qwait. Knowing he was going into the service my son said to me one day, “mom someday I will probably go over there if a war breaks out”. Little did I know this would come to pass.
My son enlisted and went to boot camp. He was chosen to be a back seater in the S-3’s. While in training for this, he called me one day and said, “mom, I can’t be a back seater, I want to fly”. So I said well son, if that is what you really want then go for it. So he did just that. He did his homework and to make a long story short – my son applied for a Boost ROTC scholarship and got it! Praise God. He was going to college to become a pilot. It was so exciting for all of us. Of course this meant a lot of hard work and learning in his future. First came Prep school in San Diego for starters, he was there for a year then when he completed this school, he got married to a very beautiful and amazing young lady. She was just what my son needed to help him through the next few very difficult college years.
College graduation day arrived, Ken was on the Dean’s list every semester and graduated at the top of his class with honors. The rest of the story is just as amazing. He received his wings in Kingsville Texas, Geegee77 and Ladyjane1 were there for the celebration, as well as other family members. He went into the FA-18 community in Lemoore, CA. Then during the middle east crisis and after 9/11, he was flying over Baghdad with almost zero fuel and lost one engine. Everything he was taught kicked into action and he made it back to the ship safely – God was with him during that time, and he was comforting us while he was away.
In 2005, Ken was also chosen to fly with the FA-18 West Coast Hornet Technical Demonstration Team, he did this for a year in his career in the Navy. So I have witnessed first hand his amazing flying and abilities at the McChord Air Force Base here in Washington. He opened up for the Thunderbirds and what a show that was. My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my body when I saw him do maneuvers at such high speeds . He also opened for the Blue Angels in California a few times as well. When he was younger and we took him to air shows he always made it a point to go and talk to the pilots, well now the younger kids were there asking him questions, what goes around comes around as they say. After that particular air show my son received a “thank you” note and card from a little boy who he had taken the time to talk to. “That’s what it’s all about mom", my son said to me.
He still is living his dream......
He has lived and is still living is dream. He made his own future. Later in life my son was at Top Gun, he was an “Adversary Instructor”. Now he is stationed very close to us in Washington. This is a prayer come true for me, another big thanks to God. They now live only a few hours drive from where we live which is another wonderful blessing. He is a proud dad of four amazing children, ranging in ages from 16, 14, 12, 7, and he is the husband to Krista who is an “Angel” (that is the only word I can use to describe his lovely wife). She has been by his side through good and bad times and deserves a medal as far as I am concerned. Since I wrote this article about 4 years ago my grandson who is now 20 has joined the military as well. Kenny joined the army and graduated basic training in South Carolina in late July 2014. I am very proud of both my son and his son for wanting to serve their country like they have done.
I want to say "thank you" son, from the bottom of my heart. For serving our country so proudly, and for the sacrifices you've made, all for America's safety and freedom. I salute you! I would like to also give my ex-husband the credit here, because he was always a good father and encouraged our son during his growing up years as well.
My son is an inspiration to me, he always will be. He worked hard in school and he kept focused, he was determined and knew what it would take to see his dream come true. He knew what he wanted in life and he went for it. He didn’t give up even when faced with some circumstances that were beyond his control he pressed on and followed it through. He has always stood up for what was right and loves his family and country very much, as seen by the sacrifices he has made. I thank God each and every day for having blessed my son and for keeping him safe all during his military career and in his life.
My prayer is that if you have a son or a daughter who has a dream, that you will do everything you can to encourage them and lift them up to God, then sit back and watch him do the rest!
What my son is doing today.......
I wrote this hub a few years ago, so I wanted to update you on what is happening to this son of mine. He retired from the military 4 years ago and then went to work for an organization for a few years based out of Fallon to train pilots, which is what he was doing at Top Gun when he retired.
Fast forward to present today, he just was picked up by Delta Airlines and began training this week to fly their planes. He has come full circle and I am so grateful to Almighty God for directing the paths of my blessed man. Thank you Jesus for all you have done in my son's life and ours! Cheers
My son doing his FA-18 demonstration at McChord Air Force Base 2005
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