WOW! What a wonderful time I had at the Rattler Firebird Reunion
in Nashville, TN, this May. This year I sat in the Gunner’s seat of a Huey gunship. This particular gunship actually flew in combat in Vietnam…no replica here. It’s the same type of Huey my brother, Capt. Herbert C. Crosby
piloted. Last year I sat in the pilot seat and got a feel for what it was like sitting in that powerful control seat. I can’t imagine the feeling the Firebirds must of had in action during the war.
Take a look at some of the photos I took during the reunion. It was the most exciting, emotional, happy, and brotherly event I’ve ever attended.
This year’s guest speaker at the banquet was Michael Durrant
. [Michael J. “Mike” Durant is an American pilot and author who was held prisoner after a raid in Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3, 1993. Durant served in the United States Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. He retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 Blackhawk helicopter Master Aviator in the 160th SOAR after participating in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, POW Medal, and numerous others.]
I had the pleasure of meeting Mike and getting his book, “In the Company of Heroes” which he personally autographed for me. Not only that, my husband and I sat next to him at the guest of honor table during the reunion banquet Saturday evening, May 15. It was such an honor to talk personally with him during our dinner. He’s an awesome man, a person of genuine being who will ever remain special to me for his devotion to God, our country and fellow man.
Although Nashville was in the beginning of recovery stages from the terrible flood we had a great reunion. The Sheraton Music Center was absolutely wonderful and accomodating to us. Nashville was beautiful and full of life recovering from the flood. A little, no a lot of water, will not keep Nashville from being it’s grand glory of country music. I missed the riverboat tour ride which had been cancelled…I hear it is an excellent tour to do. Dan and I are definitely going back to Nashville after recovery to enjoy all the sites.
Since the Grand Ole Opry house was under repair from the flood it show was moved elsewhere, the show must go on. And yes, it did. We attended the Grand Ole Opry Friday evening at the Twin Rivers Baptist Church which was basically across the street from The Grand Ole Opry. What an awesome experience to be in the audience for a live radio broadcast which included country and bluegrass favorites. The ending act was Charlie Daniels and I’m telling you now, he was fantastic. That man can play the fiddle, indeed. There wasn’t a foot still, nor a heart not beating to the rhythm, nor one not singing with all the fabulous music that entertained us throughout the show.
I had so many wonderful experiences and little stories on the side that I won’t include here because they need the full attention of them on their own.
I had the most wonderful experience though of attending the Rattler Firebird Reunion 2010 in Nashville. I lost one brother 40 years ago, yet his loss has brought to me a whole Battalion and Company of brothers that I am so blessed to be a part of. I know that if I’m ever in need, all I have to do is call one of these brothers and the whole Battalion will come. They have saved my life. Thank you Rattlers and Firebirds. You are my heroes. You are! ml