Chance meeting with a hero
October 20, 2012
October 14, Dr. Marty Becker, America's
Veterinarian and a neighbor to those who call
Boundary County home, was going through Salt
Lake City International Airport, on his way to
New York City to tape a segment for ABC's "Good
Morning, America," when he spotted a scruffy-looking old
guy he thought he recognized.
Like any seasoned traveler used to airports
today, the gentleman was dressed for travel; slip on shoes,
comfortable blue jeans and a blue T-shirt, a
black vest and a white baseball cap; attire to
ease the ordeal of getting through security.
And, like many who are well travelled, this guy
had the obvious knack of getting comfortable in
those most uncomfortable seats all major
airports provide for those interminable waits
Looking at the old traveler, you'd hardly guess
he was someone famous, and you certainly
wouldn't quite fathom what a momentous day he'd
You might have heard of the gentleman, now
nearly 90 years old. He pitched products once
for AC Delco, had a cameo appearance in the
movie "The Right Stuff" playing a bartender
If you keep up on the news, you might recognize
the date, too, October 14. That was the day Felix
Baumgartner stepped from a balloon floating at
the edge of space and became the first person in
history to break the sound barrier without being
wrapped in an airplane.
It was also the 65th anniversary of the date the
first man in history flew faster than twice
the speed of sound, that time flying a Bell X-1
dubbed "Glamorous Glennis" by the pilot, a West
Virginia farm boy who grew up to be one of the
most famous pilots in the world.
Marty keeps up with the news, and he knows
history. While most in the airport just saw a
casually dressed old man, Marty recognized the
face right off, Charles Elwood ... most folks
know him as Chuck ... Yeager.
gentleman in more formal attire.
A man who enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a
private in September of 1941 and rose to heights
While Baumgartner was hurtling earthward from
the edge of space, Air Force Major General
(retired) Chuck Yeager was on his way home to
Penn Valley, California, having just visited his
old stomping grounds over the Nevada desert,
where he'd once again flown through the sound
barrier, this time at the stick of a McDonnell
Douglas F-15 Eagle, recreating, at age 89, that
momentous flight he'd made on the same date in
1947, 65 years earlier to the day.
Marty struck up a conversation, at one point
asking, "what do you dream about?"
"Shooting down more planes," Yeager replied. "I
shot down a hundred planes in World War II, and
there's nothing more exhilarating than
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