February 9, 2006

A lot’s been happening over the last two weeks! First of all, I took my first ever flight in a small aircraft. I know, it’s ridiculous. I’m in an aviation university, and I’ve never flown in anything smaller than an Airbus. My suitemate, Scott Hasbrouck, is a pilot (he had his pilot’s license before he had his driver’s license, his parents had to drive him to his first solo!), though he’s studying aerospace engineering, same as me. He needed to keep current, so he took me up with him as an observer. We flew in a tiny Piper Aero that weighs less than his car!

Anyway, it was the most magical thing. For those of you out there already flying, more power to you dudes! I loved every second of that flight. Amazing! In almost no time we were bumping up against Cape Canaveral’s restricted airspace, then we turned back toward Orlando and Daytona Beach. Along the way Scott put us through some very sharp banks, and 2-G plus forces, and allowed me to take the controls for a while. Wow! The view was incredible, and though I’ve flown before, its been only commercially, and there’s a certain feeling of liberation that comes with flying a mile high in a tiny little aircraft that you just can’t get with a plane weighing more than a fleet of semis. I’ve always ribbed my other suitemate, Ben, who’s studying Aeronautical Science, saying that people like me build planes, monkeys like him fly them. But after that flight I sure envied him! Pretty soon I decided that if I could get the funds together, I’m going to try and get a minor in Flight. After all, I’m at the world’s best aviation university and why not take full advantage of it? And I’m sure flying skills would not go unappreciated in my job and after all, it is the Air Force.

Okay. The dreaded EGR 120 test came and went, leaving me with a 51. Yeah, it was that bad. I’m going to have to do something about that, or my perfect GPA is going to get flushed, and after what happened at the AFA luncheon, I’m not eager for that to happen.

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that, didn’t I? Or was I saving it for effect? Anyway. Last time I wrote that I was awarded the General Spruance Merit award for being ranked the No 1 Freshman cadet in the detachment for Fall 2005. I was told that I would get the opportunity to meet General Spruance and receive the award from him, in person. We even have a building here at Embry Riddle named after him and if you’re coming to Riddle, you’ll come to know Spruance Hall very well, it’s where you go to wrestle with all kinds of red tape, ha ha. I thought hey, that’s pretty cool. Little did I know that I would not only be meeting General Spruance, but the former Chief of Staff, USAF Four star General John Jumper!

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About Veda

**Age:** 18 **Hometown:** Torrance, CA **Favorite Movie:** Lord of the Rings, Matrix, Forrest Gump **Favorite Band:** Eminem (yeah!) **Career Goal:** To become a successful aero engineer for the Air Force and later perhaps pursue into NASA's astronaut program. **Interests:** Listening to my kind of music, reading fiction (can't get enough), trying new and often nutty things.

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