General Membership Meeting 14 June 2012
The Daedalian General Membership Meeting was held at the Crowne Plaza
Hotel in North Austin at 1700 hours on Thursday, 14 June 2012. It was a
dinner meeting with members gathering as early as 1800 hours.
Following a social period, the Flight Captain, LtCol Ron Butler, called
the meeting to order at 1910 Hours. The Flight Captain gave the invocation
followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Provost Marshall, Mike Rhodes, then
toasted our departed brothers and sisters, and the Commander-in-Chief. The
Flight Captain introduced our honored guests.
A list of guests follows:
Mary Boyce James Boyce
Jan Broomall Jan Broomall
Scott Cerone Ron Butler
Patsy Densford Charlie Densford
Marie Drury Dick Drury
Jo Jo Edwards George Edwards
Jan Kennebeck George Kennebeck
Marge Meyer Andy Meyer
Tommy Thompson Tom Tapman
Phyllis Waddle Dan Waddle
There were 34 members and 10 guests in attendance. $186 was collected
for the raffle. Following dinner, the meeting was reconvened at 2000. The
minutes from the last meeting were approved. The next meeting will be
August 9th. We are making arrangements for the Veterans' Day parade on
November 10, 2012. If you have a convertible, we might all ride.
The Commemorative Air Force has a hard luck B-25 that has gone through 3
engines recently. To raise money, they are going to have a golf ball drop.
You get 3 balls for $ 25. The helicopter dropped ball nearest the hole
wins about $ 1000. Please support the Lone Star Chapter and their Yellow
Rose B-25 to keep it running. They need support from our military pilot
organization. Dick Cole of the Doolittle Raiders once owned a chair which
came into the possession of Sam Ward. Charles Danforth bought it for $100.
Sam took the $100 and donated the money to our scholarship fund.
The CFIP winners should solo in July at an FBO in San Marcos.
Grant Lannon is recovering at home from a car wreck. He might be running
our flight line meeting in San Marcos in October
Ron introduced our speaker, Lt Col Anthony Flood, who spoke about his
times in Afghanistan. Tony is a retired paramedic, a reserve deputy
sheriff of 14 years and an Infantry officer. During his last tour, he was
a company commander with the Special Forces. His scariest experience
occurred when the pilot of the C-130 was coming in for a landing at a very
small strip with winds. The warning voice suddenly said "pull up,
pull up" and she pulled the beast back into the air
The Taliban don't like to surrender, and his guys were okay with that.
Fortunately during his last tour, he lost no one. What really pleases him
is that even after 10 years of war, we still have many young people
willing to stand up to serve.
His second tour was primarily about training the Afghans to take over.
This is a huge challenge. Theirs is a tribal culture with little top level
government involvement. The leader cares about his family, the tribe, and
then the village. There is no sense of nationality. The Afghan Army just
sprays bullets and prey's a lot. It's a real challenge. Pushing the
Afghans is like pushing fog uphill with a sharp stick. It's really tough
to get them to take charge.
As infantry, we are good at destroying and killing. To go to a village,
listen to their needs and try to address the issues and build things is
out-of-the-box thinking. Now a Captain, Lieutenant, or a Staff Sergeant
meets with the tribal elders, and pass needs up the chain. It's brutally
hard to deal with villages and the enemy. It requires incredible patience.
There is lots of corruption, and it's just part of their culture.
Explaining "fair" is too hard a concept. A favorite Afghan
saying is "You have the watches, but we have the time." They are
very willing to wait till we leave.
We are making progress. In 1996, there were .6 million kids in school. In
2011, there were 8.2 million kids in school which is an enormous success.
Most of the middle age or younger men have only known war with the
Soviets, their countrymen, and now the Americans. Most just want to farm
and raise their goats. They just don't care about much else. They are
coming around, but it's very slow. A lot of Afghan is green. Where people
live, they have enough food and can grow their favorite money crop:
The flyers are doing an amazing job. Air is up 24 hours a day. They
have our backs. The Specter AC-130 is amazing. The B-52 is on station with
their precision weapons, but the most feared is the A-10
The Afghans are as hard as woodpecker lips and very resilient. The Taliban
are fighting for a cause and are more dedicated to their religion. This
makes them very good soldiers who die willingly. The smart Taliban all
live in Pakistan.
If Flood were driving the train, we would have to stay the game. If we
leave, it will become a greater breeding ground for terrorists.
Since our men cannot talk to the females, our female troops have been
taking on a very important role by talking to the women. They comprise
cultural support teams. . Education is the key to progress.
The Flight Captain thanked everyone for coming and closed the meeting