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Dad back from war (Colorado ANG 120th Fighter Wing comes home)
RockyMountainNews ^ | May 1, 2003 | Lisa Levitt Ryckman, Rocky Mountain News

Posted on 05/01/2003 8:07:25 AM PDT by 5by5

Lauren Orton's 11th birthday is still two weeks away, but she's already gotten the only thing she really wanted: a $30 million F-16 jet fighter - with her dad at the controls.

"She said that if Daddy could come home by her birthday, that would be the best present of all," said her mom, Jill Orton, as the family waited on the tarmac at Buckley Air Force Base on Wednesday for Lauren's dad - and a lot of other kids' dads - to return from the war.

Family and friends covered their ears and cheered as the F-16s thundered overhead in four diamond formations, then lined up in two neat rows in front of the flag-waving crowd.

Maj. Bill Orton, his head wrapped in a stars-and-stripes bandanna, was one of 16 Colorado Air National Guard pilots from the 120th Fighter Wing who climbed out of a jet fighter and into waiting arms after spending about two months in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: airforce; airnationalguard; f16; iraq; iraqifreedom; pictures; welcomehome
I was out running an errand just before noon yesterday when I heard the unmistakable rush of fighters overhead. Four F-16s in diamond formation hustling along much lower than normal. Then, four more, and four more and four more. 16 F-16s in Four Diamond formation--wow!

My first thought was of concern; is something going on? I flipped on the radio to learn that it was the Colorado ANG 120th Fighter Wing on a little tour of the Front Range before landing at Buckely AFB. My intial concern turned to relief, then gratitude and finally pride. 2 1/2 months, 700 missions, no casualties; congratulations on a job well done ladies and gentlemen! We're glad to have you home.


1 posted on 05/01/2003 8:07:26 AM PDT by 5by5
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To: 5by5
Victory bump
2 posted on 05/01/2003 8:12:09 AM PDT by Blueflag
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To: 5by5; Blueflag; SAMWolf; Johnny Gage
Stories like these demand pictures, so...

Friends and family cheer as a squadron of F-16s lands at Buckley Air Force Base on Wednesday. Members of the 120th Fighter Squadron, who were deployed in February, returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Maj. Brian Patterson, an F-16 pilot with the 120th Fighter Squadron, hugs his daughter, Kristen, 10, and sons Matthew, 9, and Kevin, 7, after arriving Wednesday at Buckley Air Force Base. Patterson's unit, called to duty in February, is made up of 41 personnel and arrived back at its home base after flying more than 3,700 hours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lt. Stephanie Patrick, a member of the Colorado National Guard 120th Fighter Wing, hugs her daughter, Grace, on Wednesday after arriving at Buckley Air Force Base from Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 41-member unit, called to duty in February, returned to their home base after flying more than 3,700 hours during the war in Iraq.

Photos by Todd Heisler

3 posted on 05/01/2003 8:21:11 AM PDT by HiJinx
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To: 5by5
I live south of Denver metro, and I had the pleasure of seeing the 16 F-16s in formation flying directly overhead yesterday. Beautiful sight. I heard on the news that the F-16s also flew in formation over the AF Academy on their way to Denver.

Just awesome! Welcome back to Colorado ladies and gentlemen and thank you!
4 posted on 05/01/2003 8:28:02 AM PDT by digerati
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To: HiJinx
Thanks Hijinx.
5 posted on 05/01/2003 8:36:46 AM PDT by SAMWolf (SYSTEM ERROR: place sacrifice on keyboard to continue)
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