If you've noticed the sidebar of esteemed bloggers the past couple of days, you've seen the tributes by Murphy's Law and Brigid to retired Air Force Maj. Ed Rasimus, Vietnam Veteran air combat pilot, author of several books on the subject, flight instructor, software reviewer, college professor, and blogger (Thunder Tales). This past Wednesday, 'Raz' overcame the forces of gravity and drag, and now dances on laughter-silvered wings.¹
I met Maj. Rasimus only once, briefly, in November 2011, when he was scheduled to speak to a group of aviation writers at the Fort Worth Public Library. Reading that he'd be nearby, my Daughter and I detoured our plans that day to take a few moments to meet him, as at that time I'd been reading his blog for a quite awhile. He was gracious enough to honor a request for a photograph.
Thunder Tales was one of my favorite reads. He had great insight - one supposes that facing down SAMs and MiGs over 250 times and living to write about it sharpens the senses - and a dry humor. In the comments section of his blogposts, he didn't suffer fools gladly, but he maintained a level of decorum and civil discourse rather than devolving into mudslinging, name-calling melees.
Occasionally, he would include excerpts from his books - always a great read. He was a keen observer and commenter on political matters, as well as society in general. I hope that his students understood their good fortune in having a true warrior who'd been 'at the tip of the spear' of foreign policy. A few months ago, he wrote that he was considering writing another book. I know we all hoped and prayed he'd be able to see another project through, but Life had its own plans.
I'm grateful to Maj. Rasimus for his service to our country, his fierce dedication to its principles, his warrior spirit, and his mission to educate others - young and old - about the duties of citizenship.
God bless you, Sir - may you have clear skies ahead...topping the wind-swept heights with easy grace!¹
¹ Abridged from High Flight - John Gillespie Magee, Jr.