Part of being in a Predator LRE unit is giving unit tours to people on your base. People want to get a closer look at the “little airplane that could” that is changing the face of aviation. We have a pretty open policy… we are happy to provide photo ops and personal tours any time of the day no matter the size of the group and I am especially happy to do so.
It’s doing exactly this sort of thing that illustrates just how much I have changed in the past years. In my younger years I was not good with people at all. I was much more capable with book learning than I was in the social realm. Perhaps that was derived from the fact that I wasn’t popular much. Who knows? But as I’ve grown older and much more awesome, my people skills have become one of my strongest aspects. In fact, I can now talk to pretty much anyone about anything. It’s great! I’ve become much more tolerant of people, their individual ignorances and, instead of attacking said ignorance, I instead try each day to make someone’s day a little better. That could be something as simple as expressing genuine gratitude to someone who performs a service for you or simply complimenting someone’s knowledge and skill. Point being, I really enjoy working airshows and giving these tours. Each one gives me an opportunity to interact with strangers, talk about something I enjoy and actually teach a few things. That’s very satisfying to me.
Which brings me to this photo. I was talking to these comm folks about the Predator’s capabilities when one of my audience snapped it. They were gracious enough to email it to me the next day and now I present it to you. The quality sucks as is the case with most point-and-shoots and my uniform is out of regs (sleeves pushed up, morale patch on the left sleeve, zippers not fully zipped), but I’m deployed. I don’t care. I did ditch the ‘stache, though… begrudgingly. The Air Force really doesn’t like those things for some reason.