by Moody Adams These caustic words of complaint were printed in the Arizona Republic regarding a 500 foot flyover of the Arrowhead Mall, “Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns' early-bird special?”
Lt. Col. Scott Pleus, CO 63rd Fighter Squadron Luke Air Force Base, replied “On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Captain Jeremy Fresques.
“Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day.
“At 9 a.m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.
“Based on the letter writer's recount of the flyby, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.
"A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects.
"The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives. Lt. Col. Scott Pleus
A blogger commented, “Remember only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, The other for your freedom."
By the way the complainer, a Mr. MacRae, wrote this apology in the Arizona Republic: “I read with increasing embarrassment and humility the response to my unfortunate letter to the Republic concerning an Air Force Flyby. I had no idea of the significance of the flyby and would never have insulted such a fine and respectful display had I known.”