With as much action in The Hanger as there was on the field, aerospace companies throughout the Antelope Valley enjoyed a cool and breezy Aerospace Appreciation Night with the Lancaster JetHawks as they beat Stockton 7-2, May 12 in Lancaster.
Colors were posted by the Tehachapi Color Guard and an F-18 zoomed over the field seconds after Zero Gravity finished singing the National Anthem.
Brig. Gen. Carl E. Schaefer, commander 412th Test Wing, and Domingo Gutierrez of Domingo’s Mexican Restaurant, warmed up their arms before they participated in the “first pitch” with several other pitchers, all hoping they could at least throw close to home base.
After serving three tours at Edwards Air Force Base, Schaefer said it was like looking at a family album as he thumbed through the pages of “25 Years Supporting Warriors: A History of Edwards Air Force Base Civilian-Military Support Group 1989-2014.”
“This is very, very special,” said Schaefer as he pointed out his mentors and friends such Gen. Mark Welsh, former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, and General Arnold Bunch. His sincerity and admiration was quite evident as he spoke of those he worked with over the years and the impact Civ-Mil has had on the people at Edwards.
The mission of the Civ-Mil group is to establish a friendly, benevolent association of civic leaders and military personnel at Edwards Air Force Base, with plans to host incoming groups to the base and to take on one project per year to benefit Edwards Air Force Base.
The group debuted their 25th anniversary book with a barbecue.
“We thought this would be a great time to share our book since so many aerospace and military people are here,” said Diane Nagy, editor-in-chief of the book. The book is meant to inspire future generations of Antelope Valley citizens to continue this important work and inspire other communities across our nation to create a similar partnership with the military bases in their area.
Accepted into the Library of Congress, the book will be displayed in the Local History and Genealogy Section and also in the General Collection section in Washington, D.C.
Founder of the Edward’s Civ-Mil organization Aida O’Conner said she was invited by former AFFTC Commander Gen. John Schoeppner to tour Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, along with other business leaders 25 years ago, in order to meet other Civ-Mil folks serving at Cape Canaveral.
Witnessing the dedication, support and camaraderie they shared with the military, she couldn’t wait to get back to the Antelope Valley and join the Civ-Mil group at Edwards. “But there wasn’t one,” said O’Conner.
Schoeppner said that people told him if Aida were to come along, there would be a Civ-Mil group for Edwards. “When we returned we formed a team and it was one of our proudest moments. Our military and Edwards’ people deserve our gratitude. I’m also very proud to say that this book is in the Library of Congress.”
Jean Harris, local president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and neurofeedback therapist, works with many veterans who are suffering from PTSD and other issues.
“The warmth, sincerity and the outreach that this group does for our troops is pretty amazing,” said Harris after she got her book autographed by the general and members of Civ-Mil. “If you care about our military and those working at Edwards, it definitely is a group worth joining.”
After the barbecue, people donned more blankets and coats, and enjoyed fireworks sponsored by The Space Ship Company.