Warhawk Heritage Weekend Reunion 2015
After Action Report
So it’s been a week since we legacy Warhawks departed the fix (LSV/LAS) and RTB’d to our respective domiciles. The proud young men and women of the 480th Fighter Squadron remain deployed, however, proving on a daily basis what it means to wear (and have worn) the Warhawk patch. All of us who attended last weekend’s Reunion, whether in a green bag or a red polo, saw and felt something special.
During past Reunions, we legacy Warhawks spent most of the time remembering (and often reinventing) ourselves through tall tales and “war stories” – you know, “the older we get, the better we were” kinds of stuff.
We definitely did that again this time on Friday night at the Nellis Club. The current Warhawks were engaged in a night war in the Red Flag skies uprange, so we legacy Warhawks did what we always do – drank to excess, told a few outright lies about each other to anyone who would listen, schooled some young-uns in the art of Crud, maybe broke into a Warhawk cheer in there somewhere, and generally ruled the Roost for several hours before putting our teeth in a jar by the hotel bed, and getting five hours of sleep before….
Golf on Saturday morning.
I have no idea what happened at Golf on Saturday morning, at least until after the first Bloody Mary. Amazing current Warhawk “Apollo” organized a great (albeit small) tournament. “Apollo”, “Slander”, and “Havoc” were the squadron POCs, and did a phenomenal job throughout the entire weekend. Good on ‘ya, gentlemen!
Anyway, golf. Oh yeah, apparently all tee shots cleared the ladies tees – there were no “stained” golf shirts, if you catch my drift.
Saturday evening brought the main event. Beer. Road Kill Grill BBQ. Commander’s Call with Kitch and current CINC Warhawk “Ajax” Berkland. Briefing on recent Warhawk deployments to Greece, Poland, Romania, and Afghanistan. Roll Call and Elbow Room led by Slander. Screening of the special heritage edition of Warhawks: An American Fighter Squadron. Jeremiah Weed. LOTS of Jeremiah Weed.
For me, Saturday evening was a unique and powerful Reunion experience. The VFW Hall became, for me, a hall of mirrors. As I looked around the room, I saw me. I saw us. At past Reunions we sat/stood around and talked about our younger selves. On Saturday night at this Reunion I actually saw my younger self. I saw what I was. I saw what made me what I am today. I saw it in the faces, in the swagger, in the professional competence, in the sparkle in the eyes of this next generation of Warhawks. I saw it as Tom Howard, who was a Warhawk in DaNang and FOUGHT A FREAKING WAR, talked to the newest FNG in the current squadron. As Kitch and Ajax, two great leaders, shared the stage. As Slander led the group in the kind of camaraderie we’ve shared throughout the years. Thankfully, some things never change.
As I said at the top, this one was special. This one is how it should be.
The only things missing, were, of course, our Warhawk brethren who couldn’t make it this time. Believe me, wherever you were, you were fondly remembered. Glasses were raised on your behalf, and we hope to see you at the next one.
Some photos of the festivities (including the “pet the jet” static aircraft display on Sunday – thanks, Havoc) are posted to the right. If you have photos you took at the Reunion, PLEASE send them to me in an email (largest resolution possible, please) so I can post them as well. If you have video, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I have a special place to point you to that can handle large-file-size videos.
There is also a link below to the film that chronicles the history of the squadron that was shown at the Reunion. Please take the time to watch the film in a setting where you can turn up the volume, go full screen, and watch it beginning-to-end uninterrupted.
Oh. One last thing. I want to thank Gary “G Ball” Ball for his herculean efforts in organizing the logistics of the Reunion.
RRF and FILO
Pete “Zimo” Zimowski
A “special edition” version of Warhawks: An American Fighter Squadron was screened at the Reunion. This special edition focuses on the squadron’s heritage of excellence and contains never-before-seen footage from all squadron eras. Click HERE or on the image below to go the film’s online home at Vimeo. Please take the time to watch the film in a setting where you can turn up the volume, go full screen, and watch it beginning-to-end uninterrupted.
Warhawk Alpha Roster
We are trying to maintain a roster with an accurate email address (at a minimum) for all Warhawks, past and present. The purpose is to be able to inform Warhawks of significant events like Reunions and other activities, the passing of Warhawk alumni, and the like. It will NOT be used for advertising and will be held in a secure place online that only YOU and an administrator, which right now is Pete Zimowski, email@example.com can access. It will not be used for banter – we have the HogLog Google Group for that, which we encourage you to make use of. If you signed up for the Reunion through Reunion Manager, we’ll move your information over to the Alpha Roster. If you haven’t signed up before, just fill out the form below and follow the instructions in the email that will come to you shortly. Best practice: PLEASE use a civilian, not .mil address.
YOU SHOULD JOIN. Simply point your browser HERE. Follow the directions (a major task for some of us) and you’ll be ready to ridicule, abuse, and, yes, sometimes edify, Warhawks of all ages. DO IT TODAY!
We’ve also conveniently embedded the HogLog in a page on this web site. No excuses for not joining in TODAY!
Click individual images to see a larger version. You can also move through the larger versions by clicking the arrows to the left and right of the slideshow window.