Montana Veterans Memorial in Great Falls:
It’s a beautiful place. If you haven’t visited yet – you should.
This is the first Veterans Day since 1986 that I am not in the Air Force. It’s strange – now that I am no longer serving, I feel even more gratitude towards those who do. Does that make sense? Any other vets feel the same way?
Doing some more searching about the return of the Missileer Badge (aka the “Pocket Rocket”) and I stumbled across the Missile Forums. Among the highlights: rumors of the return of the badge began circulating back in February; quite a bit of discussion about the subject. I wonder if civilians understand the passion often displayed about such military-specific topics as badges and ribbons and medals. And there’s a thread started by a newly-minted missileer who learned in January out that his first duty assignment would be to Malmstrom Air Force Base. He got plenty of advice from folks who are or were stationed here in Great Falls, including places to visit, restaurants of note, tips for dealing with the weather, and this interesting tidbit: “Under no circumstances buy the house at 2215 6th Avenue North. it was falling down when I sold it in ’78. It should have been bulldozed.” The young missileer arrived here in town on June 1st, and so far seems happy with his new “home.” Welcome to Great Falls, hockey85!
I’m sure most of you know about the Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff being fired this week (or resigning, to be polite). To some observers, this is a direct result of the nuclear incidents over the last two years, particularly the one at Malmstrom’s “sister” installation, Minot Air Force Base.
There’s much more analysis to the story, of course, but it appears that part of the fallout (get it?) includes bringing back the “Missile Badge,” a source of pride for many years among the missileers in the Air Force. Check out this message that was posted over at the Wired “Danger Room” blog: Read more
Memorial Day is an occasion for us to honor those who have died while serving in the United States military, and while certainly not every person listed at the Montana Veterans Memorial is (a) dead, or (b) died while serving, it is nevertheless only natural to focus on such a location on this day. And if you visit the memorial today, please note: “May 26, 2008 A very special Memorial Day ceremony will be held at Montana Veterans Memorial at 2:00 pm. Please bring a chair.”
(click to see full-size pix)
Their service in the name of America shall never be forgotten.
The highlight for many people this weekend will be the Malmstrom Open House and Air Show, featuring the return of the Canadian Snowbirds aerial demonstration team. Welcome back, Snowbirds. You’ve been in our collective thoughts since last year, and it is great to have you back in Great Falls to amaze and thrill our community.
On a more terrestrial note, don’t forget that the annual “Spay-ghetti” dinner will be held tomorrow night to raise money for The Animal Foundation’s spay & neuter programs. For more details, call 454-1720. And in related news, don’t forget that the newly-formed “Diamonds In The Ruff” will be conducting an “adopt-a-thon” on Saturday at PetCo.
MORE: got an e-mail from Alan, a local racing fan:
“…there will be Sprint cars at the local track tonight and tomorrow night. Sprints are the fastest cars on the track, they hit a top speed of over 100mph on the straight stretch. There will be cars from Canada and the USA; the race is called the ‘Can Am Challenge’.”
More details at the Electric City Speedway site. Thanks Alan!
Good news from Malmstrom Air Force Base! I’m sure most of you know about military competitions: intra-service contests to determine the best of the best. In the Air Force world of Space Operations and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM), the competition is known as Guardian Challenge. Read more