Thanks to Defenders of Liberty @ Barksdale Air Force Base

Photo of my view of the Blue Angels, flying over South Bossier City’s Mike Woods Park

I am so appreciative of Barksdale Air Force Base for being a major part of our community in Bossier City, Shreveport & the surrounding area. Of course, as I’ve always expressed, that I’m very grateful for the service of military men & women.

I used to work at Barksdale in the mid & late 70s, while I attended Parkway High School. My Dad was stationed at Barksdale A.F.B. at the time. I remember how thankful that I was, that we were back in Louisiana, after my Dad was stationed at (what was) Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire. In the late 60s/early 70s, my Dad served in Viet Nam, and I remember, as a child, worrying about him (and praying for him), every day, during that time. I was so proud of my Dad, but also very concerned for his safety during his time in Viet Nam. The families of military servicemen and servicewomen, aren’t in harms way like a military family member can be from time to time, but the servicemen and servicewomen are loved, dearly, and for many that are serving, their families are a strong support group. Watching the news on TV, back when I was a child, I remember thinking how, every day, I hope that my Dad would return home, safely, from Viet Nam. Especially, after some of the scenes and reports that we would see on the TV news every day, during that time. There were only 3 television channels back then, that reported the news, and those channels went off of the air at midnight, and signed on around 5am every day. Times have changed. Now, there are hundreds of TV channels, so much high technology, social media etc., but the love and strong support from the families of military servicemen and servicewomen has not changed. Watching the planes fly over South Bossier City, during the air show and open house at the base, had me thinking back to those times that I was a youngster, when my Dad served in the Air Force.

My youngest son, and his girlfriend, along with my wife and I, watched the Defenders of Liberty Barksdale Air Force Base Air Show and Open House from Mike Woods Park in Shady Grove (South Bossier City). My oldest son & his fiance’ took some well-deserved days off from work, to attended the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and texted some great photos of the fun that they were having, during the weekend. I sat in the bleachers by the pool at Mike Woods Park, thinking how grateful that I am, that my adult sons stay in touch with their mother and I, as well as spending time with us. We have a strong family bond, and I’m very thankful for that. It was also great to walk from my son’s house in Shady Grove to Mike Woods Park, and see the neighborhood that I used to live in.

The view of the airshow from Mike Woods Park, was excellent. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels flew right over us, as well as the B1, B52 & B2 bombers. The other planes, including some old war birds, put on excellent performances. The end of the flight line, where the planes landed and took off, was right next to the park. The weather was perfect! I heard 98Rocks weekend personality, Lady B. (one of our Alpha Media program directors), say that over 100 thousand people were on Barksdale Air Force Base for the weekend air show and open house. Close to the base, at Mike Woods Park, there was a big crowd, too. I’m very appreciative of those that are serving at Barksdale Air Force Base. I’m grateful. I’m also thankful that the base is right where it is, as it has a big impact on the economy in our region.

In this blog, you’ve probably noticed the words “grateful” and “thankful” several times. These days, I seem to have an on-going attitude of gratitude. With all of the craziness (and, sometimes, division) around us at this time in our lives, I choose to let it be, and I choose to try and remember to take more time, to humble myself, and be grateful.

Thank you, Barksdale, for opening up your gates to the public every year, and putting on such great air shows. I, for one, am very grateful that the base is right where it is, as it has been throughout my life.

Tom Michaels
email: [email protected]



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