How Presidential

May 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, )


In an event that was appropriate for Memorial Day, Scott and I were able to get a tour of President Obama’s helicopter yesterday afternoon.  An old friend of mine is in the Marines and he was in town for a few days so he offered us a tour since we had the day off.  The tour was supposed to start at 11am but due to political and bureaucratic red tape (shocker) we didn’t enter the hanger until almost 1pm.  There were all sorts of rules (such as no photographs of the aircraft when the doors were open, only one person on the staircase at a time, etc.) and the other Marines who were there had their hands on their weapons at all times.  I guess that was in case I decided to try to steal a pillow or something (which I didn’t! – I promise, FBI!).  I got to see the inside of the helicopter and even sat in the President’s chair!  Fun fact – he keeps hand sanitizer and a box of tissues Velcro-ed to the wall near his seat (fascinating, I know).  Also, there’s no bathroom on board.  There used to be but they removed it for weight purposes.  So even the President has to hold it sometimes!

Don't worry, the doors are closed.

Don’t worry, the doors are closed.

The tour lasted roughly four minutes but even after waiting so long to begin with, I was glad I went.  It’s not like I get a chance to tour such an aircraft every day!  Besides, it was a fitting way to spend Memorial Day and I was glad to hang out with my soldier buddy, especially since it’s been something crazy like ten years (maybe longer) since I’ve seen him.  I was also extra interested in the helicopter because I’ve seen it flying by our office when the President comes to town.  Now I know what it’s like to be on the inside!  Of course, we were on the ground in a hangar instead of hundreds of feet in the air and the President was nowhere near, but that’s okay.  I used my imagination.

The whole experience was very interesting and it served to remind me just how intense the military is.  I mean I guess that should be obvious but the protocols, procedures, rules and chains of command are just dizzying.  Regardless of how I feel about any war, I’m always supportive of those who think it is their duty to serve.  Even if that duty means giving civilians such as myself a tour for a day!

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