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.