Air Force News Still Heavy After 20 Years - Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.
My wife, Christy, wanted me to move a trunk. I asked myself, “Self, what is it about women and trunks full of quilts ? Do they have a primal fear of Global Freezing or an approaching Ica Age ? My grandmother in east Texas had a trunk full of quilts that she had stitched with a needle and thread. My mother had a trunk full of quilts that she had bought through the years. Now, it seems, my wife has a trunk full of quilts.”
I got my dolly to move the trunk. I never knew quilts could weigh so much. I stopped and opened the lid.
"Holy Pandora’s Box !" The trunk was full of my old Air Force newspapers and memoriabilia from the Strategic Air Command Bombing and Navigation Competion of 1982, which translated basically into bumper stickers from many states, plus my gray reporter’s steno pads of notes.
The rest of the afternoon passed fairly quickly as I opened the pages of the Observer of Barksdale Air Force Base Louisiana, Philippine Flyer of Clark Air Base Republic of the Philippines, and nodded at some copies of the Tropic Topics of Andersen Air Force Base Guam and the Blythe Spirit of Blytheville Air Force Base Arkansas.
I was amazed that just by glancing at a headline I could remember the situations that arose in trying to arrange interviews to write the stories, I grinned at the DWI story on page one of a newspaper because I had escorted the photographer to the main gate to talk to one of the security policemen on duty and see how we could get a photo to go with the story.
The photographer and the SP had an idea, Suddenly, I’m leaning against a car and looking away from the camera to provide the photo line art for the story. Ah. the things you do for your country. Smile.
In the stacks of newspapers, there were also stories that I hoped would be read and remembered like the Death March survivor story.
As I closed the trunk lid, I wondered if the Air Force Public Affairs men and women on active duty today still get to “beat feet to the street” to write the stories and take the photographs or if the process is all just text messaging, cell phone photography and electronic publishing to have something to post to the websites?
Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.
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