by Robert D. Crawford, MBA
As dawn breaks, vivid hues are revealed; ever changing purple, red, orange erupt on the horizon. It’s the dawn of a new day with new hopes, new dreams, new aspirations and new challenges.
Morning sunrises are a very inspirational time, and it reminds me that there are police officers, firemen, and the many military personnel each standing watch to serve our families, friends, neighbors in communities throughout our nation. They often burn the midnight oil, working long, sometimes hazardous shifts. Their work is often forgotten and under recognized, but they work hard and diligently to serve our communities and provide protection, safety, and freedom.
Many years ago I served our country, as a Naval Flight Officer. It was a privilege to serve our great nation, just as many others veterans have done. My job, as Mission Commander onboard a P-3b Orion aircraft build by Lockheed in Burbank was to manage our surface and subsurface surveillance operations. Our squadron’s surveillance missions were conducted throughout the Pacific and Indian oceans. The missions were often lengthy, sometimes 12 to 14 hours in the air not to mention mission pre-flight of the aircraft and mission post flight debrief at the command center.
But the absolute most amazing part of any flight especially those that lasted into the early morning hours was the breathtaking sunrises that our crew would witness. Many missions lasted throughout the night and into the early morning hours and as the sun arose its rays could be seen dancing off the water below our aircraft, the rays light the clouds and the clouds seemed to be on fire. Each unique cloud formation was painted with such vivid and evolving colors. Truly it was spectacular to view.