Delta County eighth graders will have the opportunity to learn about military aviation, personal growth, setting goals and developing a winning attitude as they attend the Rise Above program at the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Rocky Mountain Wing on April 24 and 25.
The eighth graders will be bussed to the CAF museum and hangar at the Grand Junction Airport to experience the story of the Tuskegee Airmen -- African American fighter pilots who became the most effective bomber escort group of World War II. These pilots overcame near unsurmountable obstacles just to be able to fight for their country. The CAF's Rise Above program, presented in a 270-degree dome theater, shows how the airmen struggled with bigotry, the chain of command and a widely held belief that black men didn't have the skills or talent needed to become pilots. The students will learn how the pilots applied six basic principles to ultimately earn the right to fly the most well-known fighters of the war, the P-51 Mustang.
Members of the CAF Rocky Mountain Wing will help the Delta County eighth graders understand how these pilots overcame their hardships and obstacles, and exceeded all expectations. They'll learn how to apply the lessons learned in WWII to Rise Above their own obstacles and hardships. In addition to the educational experience, these students will have a great time visiting the RMW Aviation Heritage Museum, climbing up onto the wing of our WWII TBM Avenger "309" -- the largest single-engine bomber built for the war -- and seeing other vintage aircraft as well. They will get to meet veterans, learn how to set goals for themselves, fill out their very own "Flight Plan for Life" and write a letter to a veteran.
When they leave, each will have earned their own Rise Above dog tag with engraved reminders about how they too can Rise Above adversity. Parents are invited to attend.