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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | May 21, 2011

Fathers and sons bond to the sound of jet propulsion at 2011 JSOH

By Benjamin Newell Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs

Korey Burrows, 8, of Waldorf, Md., snaps his neck up and down in fast succession as a truck with a jet engine strapped to it's bed speeds by, racing an aircraft and leaving a trail of smoke in it's wake. His father, Marcus, tries to direct his attention to the cool water bottles he bought for all three of his sons, who are now standing up out of their picnic chairs, pointing and jumping as the jet truck spins doughnuts and coats the flightline in massive white puffs of exhaust and burning rubber.

"We're out here as a family," said Mr. Burrows, who seized the opportunity presented by the 2011 Joint Service Open House here, to bring all three of his sons out to watch aviation stunts performed by pilots from across the country. "For me, as a single father, getting my kids out here to watch this is all about the bonding. I want them to have a fun time and get outdoors with me."

Fathers and sons with craned necks and strained eyes are scattered throughout the JSOH. Some come as aviation enthusiasts, others are just looking for some male-oriented entertainment, while also getting the chance to mingle with servicemembers manning an entire tarmac full of military aircraft.

As the GEICO Skytypers take to the air trailing precise streaks of smoke, Gene,42, and James, 9, of Spottsylvania, Va., compare their model Radio Controlled P-51 Mustang they are building together at home to the full sized aircraft they watched in a mock-dogfight earlier. "We're just aircraft enthusiasts!" said Gene, who requested his last name be withheld. "This is a guys day out for us, hanging around planes and talking RC's." The two were wearing matching shirts which read "I love jet noise."

Tradition is part of the equation that led Mike Wilson of Glen Burnie, Md., and his stepson Jacob Smith, age 7, to the open house. "I remember coming out when I was eight or nine years old to an airshow with my dad," said Mr. Wilson. "I still remember the C-5 Galaxy that we wandered through. The size of it at that age has stuck with me since, and I hope that Jacob gets that same type of memory here."