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Tomahawk in flight
It was March 1978 and I was sent from my contract office on an assignment to the Joint Cruise Missiles Project Office (JCMPO). From the first moment that I entered the front office of the Naval Captain who was the Deputy Director of the Sea Launched Cruise Missile, I felt seized by an excitement that would deepen and grow over the succeeding years until I left the project.
So many significant things happened while I was with the project, the first being that I was asked by the Captain to take over his main secretary's desk when she suffered a horrific accident, which resulted in a slow recovery.
I was interested in the name of the missile, Tomahawk, because of the Native American blood of my maternal grandfather. It was named after the light, swift weapon of the North American Native Americans. It proved to be an accurate, failsafe enemy finder when thrown. It is a significant name for a country inspired by and protected by God.
I've no idea where the Project is located now, but it used to be in Crystal City, Virginia. I remember getting off the metro and walking underground to the building where the office was located on the 11th floor. No problem, the elevators always worked well, but fire drills required trudging down the stairs, one floor at a time.
We secretaries were kept very busy pushing paper around, fielding calls and such. The military personnel were always coming and going on travel to Tomahawk test sites or wherever their duties beaconed. The days went very fast and we all felt a huge sense of reward at the end of the day. Suddenly, Christmas was nearly upon us. In those days, before the very word, Christmas, was considered offensive, we put up a decorated tree in the front office. It was almost Christmas when the Admiral ordered up a mock up of the Tomahawk. When it arrived and was dragged up the stair well, it was placed next to the Christmas tree. I starred at this apparent clash of opposites, and then I began to beg my mind to weigh a few moments upon the situation. "Wait a minute," I thought, "let's think about this." I began to feel an immediate surge of warmth by the thought that Tomahawk could protect our freedoms and be a deterrent to those who wanted to take them away.
The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was undergoing a struggle against threatened revolution in the latter part of 1978. By February 1979, he had fled Iran, and Ayatollah Khomeini came from Paris to a thrilling welcome in Iran.
Meanwhile, in Northern Virginia, my husband called me outside to behold an interesting misalignment of stars around the planet Venus in the night sky. I will never forget looking up and seeing the Muslim sign reversed. Tears sprang down my cheeks as I faced my husband. "Why are you crying?," he asked. "They don't know what is going to happen," I replied.
Twin Towers 9/11
A lot happened during the years from 1978 until present time. Hijackings, the attack on the ship, Cole, several assorted attacks, including that on the World Trade Center in 1993. And then the attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the hi-jacked plane, which went down in a wheat field near Shanksville, Pa, on 9/11. Then there was the terrible assault upon soldiers at Fort Hood by an Islamic U.S. Medic in 2009. And presently, there was the slaughter of journalists by the Islamic terrorists in France last week. High ranking leaders of the world came to France to demonstrate unity against those who would snatch Freedom from the West. American patriots generally were embarrassed that no significant member of the current administration was present in the march.
And while I was doing research for this essay, I learned that Tomahawk, our valiant guardian, is under continued threat of cancellation by the current executive branch of our government who want to do away with its name as well as replace it. Kudos to the sane members of Congress who rejected, at least for a year, to do away with the world's mightiest weapon. I would remind everyone to remember when our Captain went before Congressional members of the Salt Talks all those years ago to defend our keeping Tomahawk despite Russian opposition. Hopefully, the fight will go on; Tomahawk has served us well, and will, God willing, keep flying forever!