I Wear Glasses

I first got glasses when I was seven years old. I didn’t want them. Even though they allowed me to see the chalkboard in school, turned trees into individual leaves instead big green blobs and allowed me to see the stars at night. I didn’t want them because I already knew when I was seven that you could not be a fighter pilot if you wore glasses.

Bill Whittle reminded me of that in this video. There’s a thousand other reasons I might not have made it, but I remember coming out of that optometrist’s office with glasses on and looking up at the telephone poles and trees and seeing everything clearly. Knowing then that I really did need those glasses. I remember feeling the first and biggest of my childhood dreams die.

I joined the Marine Corps, and I worked a flight line. I know what a FOD walk is, did hundreds of them. I know what it is to use the best of your skills and abilities to try to maintain machines designed to do nearly impossible things. I worked on the avionics on the F4-J/S Phantom II. If Bill Whittle is wrong about anything in his video, it is that. That F18-D, for all it’s superior capabilities, is not the meanest piece of iron ever to inhabit the skies. This is.

I would still learn to fly one if they’d let me.


5 thoughts on “I Wear Glasses

  1. We share much in life my friend but I might give you fits with this one.

    I joined the Air Force and strongly considered going to flight school but ultimately didn't.

    I worked on the F-4Es – Air Crew Life support. Great birds, did a few FOD walks myself.

    One of the greatest pleasures in my life was getting to live what I thought was just a dream.

    I flew the F-4E. Over the skies of German.
    Granted it was only an incentive flight and only for a few minutes. Pilot was way over the line with that one but I had dozens of hours of simulator time and he knew it (how I got sim time is another story)

    I would also still learn to fly one if they'd let me.

  2. I grew up with glasses and a dream of being an astronaut. The progression was simple. Fighter jock, test pilot, astronaut. Glasses killed it. I could have tried to be a mission specialist on the Shuttle, but who wants to ride a bus?

    I also always wanted to fly an F-4. They are the coolest looking airplanes EVAR! I'd buy one if I had the money and could figure out how. I totally don't get some of the stupid things the super rich buy with their money. They could buy and F-4, and they don't. That's just stupid if you ask me.

  3. I feel ya, man. Glasses also knocked me out of my early dream to be a naval aviator, and even a combat helicopter pilot (Because those Cobras were so cool). I had the test scores to qualify, but the glasses = game over.

    But yeah, that old Phantom jet. Nothing badder ever came before or will likely come in it's wake. (Although honorable mention goes to the F-105.)

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