Rex Gray, APRN Contributor


Seventy years. That's how long it takes to forget a war -- for most of us. No one wins a war, but the U.S. came together as a nation during World War II. Sacrifices were made at home and abroad, and even though the conflict is 70 years gone, it's legacy is still very much alive.

This is a story about a brilliant young pilot. A budding war in Europe. A complex aircraft: the B-17 bomber. And it's a story about the ultimate sacrifice one American pilot made alongside his Allied airmen in England.

The gate agent announced to the passengers waiting to board it was my last flight through Fairbanks. While reviewing the flight paperwork, a gentleman approached, wanting to shake my hand, and wish me well in the upcoming retirement. Download Audio

Alaska Air National Guard troops are getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. Rex Gray is a parent of one of those citizen soldiers. His son Ben is heading off on his first deployment. In this commentary, Rex reflects on the experience.

Public hearings are continuing this week on the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, or JPARCs plan to modernize and enhance training areas in the state. Monday night, two dozen people attended a hearing at the Palmer train depot.

Alaska has more pilots and airplanes per capita than any other state. And this weekend is their own version of the great Alaska Sportsman Show. It’s a chance to see the latest airplanes and flight products and visit with old friends. The show is organized by the Alaska Airmen’s Association.