Family was invited to CAP(Civil Air Patrol) Christmas party. Awkwardness abounds at CAP functions. The RAF(British Royal Air Force) is in town and the powers that be managed to secure a tour of the RAF Typhoons(fighter jet). I forget how confusing military speak can be with all the acronyms and whatnot.
I managed to tagalong during the second groups tour. Jude was all about it, until he wasn't. He decided he didn't want to look into the cockpit just as we got to the top of the very steep ladder/stairs. Of course, it was raining. The stairs were wet. Jude was wiggling-ly telling me, "I don't wike it! I don't wike it!" I was 90% sure we were going to fall to our death in front of a large group of fourteen year olds and RAF pilots.
Thankfully, we made it to the ground safely and were able to chat it up with one charming British man named Andy. As it turns out, half of them were named Andy. I could listen to them talk all day. It's funny how they all turn into a Royal when they speak. It was quite the experience that we owe, once again, to the CAP.
If you have a 12 year old(or older!), I encourage you to look into it.
We also got to see a giant civilian plane full of deploying Airmen. That's always a harsh reminder that our time is coming soon. How crappy that they had to deploy a week before Christmas. I wish we could've done more than just stand on the tarmac and wave. :(
Of all the topics discussed during the tour, most comparisons were the same. Deployment schedules, military rank structures, weapons, etc. What was weird and the most noticeable difference is that the British guys differ't speak of themselves. At all. The one giving the tour told us everything he could about the airplane, but not even his name. I wanted to know about his wife and his children and his career and what life is like in England. I wanted to know if his wife calls him and unleashes a string of expletives over how bloody awful his children are on days when he's not home to help. I wanted to hear him sing her praises about how she keeps the home fires burning and how her loyalty is what gives him the passion to serve their country.
I guess that's a difference between us and them. I know an awful lot about their weaponry, but nothing of the people in the cockpit. Perhaps us Yanks are too nosy. ;)