Sunday, August 30, 2009

Air Cadets Canada


Jordan was having the time of his life. He had been selected as a delegate to represent the Canadian Air Cadets in an exchange program. Young people were going to be traveling all over the planet that summer in their blue uniforms. His destination was Hawaii, but first a side-excursion to Ottawa and to Washington D.C.

This was the real prize. He had previously enjoyed summer camps, leadership camps, survival camp in Northern Quebec, trips to Virginia and North Carolina military/naval posts, private pilot's licence training in Lindsay, Ontario...and now Hawaii. Marvelous training and summer opportunities throughout high school years, and all at the expense of the Departmnt of National Defense.

His host in Hawaii, retired from the U.S.Air Force, showed him a wonderful time. Pearl Harbour. Diamond Head Mountain. Honolulu Airport. Ocean Aquarium. Surfing beaches. Polynesian banquets. Sailing. Snorkling. Surfing. Flying private aircraft over the city. Scrambling down the runway in his "Hummer" and waving at commercial pilots, friends, who were about to take off. Sort of a never-to-grow-up unofficial member of the Beach Boys who once played with surfing champions.

One day Jordan remembers in particular. He and host and family were out on the open waters in a sailboat. Snorkling and examining the breath-taking assortment of tropical fish at a coral reef. Suddenly Jordan was told to get back to the boat. Pause. "Jordan, get out of the water, now!"

He could see the shark's fin as he took the final steps up the boat's ladder. Didn't register any real panic. UNTIL the fish rushed past their craft, white foam streaming off his head and dorsal, in pursuit of some smaller fry. "Hello friend, thanks for allowing us the visit."

My son is now a commercial pilot and aviation instructor at a college in Thunder Bay. Yeah, I'm bragging on my kid.

And all I have out of high school are some memories of basketball tournaments...

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