20 February, 2013

Profile 70: FINAL - B-52G of the 77th BS


There's a teeny bit to be done with the engines, but I'll handle that with a pencil on the final prints.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  Her pilot, Dave Berkland, is really happy and that's all that matters.

There are times when I write or draw something and it's not my best.  Instead, it's the best I can do given the circumstances.  My own skill-level, availability of knowledge, lack of time...and sometimes a lousy subject (they happen) can really conspire to foul up what should have been a Magnum Opus.

Kind of like the Vietnam War.  It should have been another shining moment in American history but because of... you get the point.

In the course of this project, the fruit of the research was really a bumper crop.  I learned a lot about the Khmer Rouge, corresponded with a Cambodian woman who had lost family during Pol Pot's sh*t-headed tenure, read three gut-wrenching biographies on Cambodian KR survivors and even managed to talk one of my kids into watching The Killing Fields.  In short, this B-52G was an immersive experience!

And it was also a spiritual one, too.

In the biblical book of Genesis, Cain, after killing his brother, answered God's probing question about the whereabouts of Abel by snarking, "I don't know.  Am I my brother's keeper?"

I'll leave it at this.  In the brotherhood of Man, the United States is still the biggest, strongest Brother out there.  And this B-52G, in spite of being older than I am, remains a BIG stick in the American quiver of, for lack of a better word, "help" for others in need.  What is "help" and "harm" remain to be seen though - that's where we need to put the burden on our leaders, I guess.

I wish we, as a Nation, could go back in time and do certain things better or at least, differently.  But God help those that think that this country doesn't deserve our absolutely best effort, now.

Postscript - Lt. Berkland took the photo below, in his words, "Somewhere over the Pacific.  I was just doing my job, John.  Just doing my job."

POSTSCRIPT:  The opinions that this post has stirred up are more proof (to me) that Americans, especially my generation, can only benefit from further study on the Vietnam War and the South East Asia experience.   If there is any wrong to the times, we need to know it clearly and openly so we can avoid similar situations in the future.  If there is any right to the times, we need to know it for our nation's self respect and the honor of those who served.