Wings Over Wayne Airshow

2017

Wings Over Wayne Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Airshow

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12 S ome men of accomplishment feign humility. Others wear it casually, as if part of their morn- ing dress. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel David "Stoney" Sloan, is among the latter. Although he took off his service uni- form nearly 16 years ago, Sloan still dons each day the accompanying core values he exemplified daily while serv- ing. Among the many medals and ribbons that once adorned his dress blues, now tucked away in shadow box or perhaps a bureau drawer, is the Silver Star. The military describes the Silver Star as the third-highest military combat decoration that can be awarded to a member of the armed forces. It is awarded for gallantry in action. Sloan would recoil at such a word –– gallantry. He is reticent to share the story of how he, his Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) Joe Justice and his wingman earned their respective medals one night over a dark corridor in Iraq. They were there to save the lives of eight or more Special Forces operators who, up until recently, the U.S. government would have denied were ever there. Sloan opens up, begrudgingly, with a sigh. "You really want to hear about this?" he asks. "It's a bit of a long story. OK, let me set the scene for you." He describes how, in pre-war negotiations, President George H.W. Bush forged a coalition with Arab nations to rally against Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces after his incursion into Kuwait in a dispute over oil fields. Part of the agreement was that nearby –– and fully capable, militarily –– Israel stay out. If Israel were to engage, that would drive a lot of the Arab nations, such as Egypt, to withdraw from the coalition, making it harder to fight the war. Israel knew this, and so did Saddam, Sloan said. Despite heavy bombardment by Iraqi Scud missiles, Israel stayed out of things as long as the U.S. provided it with Patriot 912 North Spence Avenue Walmart Shopping Center 919.778.5666 www.brooklyn-pizzeria.com 11DCT0517L© Open 7 days a week Proudly Serving SJAFB For Over 28 Years! • Pizza Slices • Pizza Pies • Subs • Calzones • Hot Wings • Italian Salads • Cinnamon Knots • Garlic Knots • Stromboli • Lasagna • Manicotti • Ravioli • Stuffed Shells Real New York Style Pizza for Real Heroes We recognize the many sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform both today and throughout our nation's history. We honor their courage and dedication and we thank them for their contribution to our country. SILVER STAR: Heroics in the desert U.S. Air Force Col. David 'Stoney' Sloan and his crew took life-threatening risks to ensure troops in Desert Storm remained safe and, for that heroic act, were awarded the Silver Star. See SILVER STAR, Page 42 Col. David "Stoney" Sloan and his WSO Maj. Joe Justice reunite in front of the 335th Chiefs Squadron patch at a gathering 25 years after Operation Desert Storm. The two men participated in a night rescue of Special Forces troops pinned down by Iraqi tanks during the war, earning them the Silver Star.

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