Albert F. Burnett
My hero is my father. December 7, 1941 my father was a freshman at Texas A&M College and just like the rest of the Class of 1945, he dropped out of school and joined the military. In the case of my father, he joined the Army Air Corps and flew as a B-17 bombardier. He was wounded over Germany and spent several weeks in a hospital back at his base in England. He went on to complete 30 bombing missions in B-17s before being sent back to the States to train follow-on bomber crews. During this time his brother, a B-26 pilot was shot down during the Battle of the Bulge and declared Missing in Action (later was liberated from his POW camp by Patton’s 3rd Army). My father was on the West Coast training in B-29s, prior to being shipped out to begin bombing raids against Japan, when two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan and they finally decided to surrender. He was mustered out of the military,went back to college on the GI Bill and was awarded a degree in Accounting. Just when he was settling into a career as a CPA, he was recalled for the Korean War. After hostilities ended, he was asked to remain in the new USAF and help standup Strategic Air Command. He sat nuclear alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis and finished his career after several tours in Vietnam flying the B-52. During all this time he never boasted, nor complained of these trying times. He also wanted to shelter his two sons of the difficult things he experienced and made it too easy for my brother and I. It has taken me a long time to appreciate all the wonderful opportunities this country can provide, if only you are willing to work hard for it.