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Tuskegee Airmen Meet Attendees at KidVenture

CAF Red Tail Squadron hosts Rise ABOVE events

By Ti Windisch, EAA Staff Writer

July 23, 2018 - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh attendees have opportunities to meet Tuskegee Airmen pilots Col. Charles McGee and Lt. Col. George Hardy at the RISE ABOVE traveling exhibit through Saturday at KidVenture near Pioneer Airport.

The Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron is putting on the RISE ABOVE traveling exhibit, a free panoramic movie theater that shows Rise Above, a film that educates viewers about the Tuskegee Airmen. Rise Above is directed by Adam White.

“It’s almost a great hat trick when you’re able to have the movie here, have the airplane on the field, and then you have the airmen right there able to speak with,” White said. “You really see people able to connect the entire story of the Tuskegee Airmen when you can present it in a dramatic fashion in a film like this and then they can come out and actually speak with the airmen.”

A line of people featuring plenty of young KidVenture attendees formed to greet and receive autographs from both of the Tuskegee Airmen. McGee said he enjoys getting the chance to communicate with young people.

“I like to talk especially to young people because they’re the future of our country,” McGee said. “To be able to share with them past experiences and help them get the feel for what aviation means for the country is what it’s all about. And it keeps me out of the rocking chair.”

Peyton Sievers got the chance to speak with Hardy early on Monday during her fourth AirVenture. She said she knew about the Tuskegee Airmen prior to the event, and was excited to meet one of the airmen.

“It was awesome,” Peyton said. “It was really cool to meet him, he was really nice.”

Hardy said he enjoys sharing the importance of aviation with kids.

“We like to impress young people with the spirit of flying,” Hardy said. “A lot of people, they’re not sure what they want to do. But I started flying overseas in a P-51 at 18. I hadn’t even driven an automobile before. I never dreamed that that would happen growing up. But the sky’s the limit.”

AirVenture attendees looking to take in the RISE ABOVE event can do so all week. Hardy and McGee will be around to meet attendees from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; from 2-3 p.m. Tuesday; from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday; from 1-3 p.m. on Thursday; and from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday.

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