by Staff Sgt. Wayne Barnett
More than 21,000 Soldiers, Family members and civilians flocked to Butts Army Airfield Saturday and Sunday for the “In Their Honor” Air Show.
With the national anthem playing in the background, the U.S. flag was brought onto Butts Army Airfield both days by the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Wings of Blue parachute team.
“We are really impressed with the turnout and I really want to thank everyone at Fort Carson … it’s a wonderful combination with the military community working in harmony with the civilian community to honor everything these Soldiers do for us,” said John O’Donnell, promoter of the air show. “Saturday’s crowd is … one of the largest crowds we have ever had.”
The air show was designed to honor the men and women of the military, according to event organizers.
Active-duty military and their Families were treated to free admission.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our Soldiers and Families to get out on a great Fort Carson sunny day,” said Brig. Gen. James H. Doty, acting senior commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson “(I) just want to thank everybody for putting this show on because that’s what matters —helping our Soldiers and Families”
The air show featured an aerial comedy act as well as high altitude stunt maneuvers such as barrel rolls and loops by nationally-recognized aerobatic performers. One such performer was retired Army helicopter pilot Greg Baker who performed in a Pitts S2-C biplane.
“To be able to come out here and perform for these Soldiers makes me feel awesome. Having done several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan myself and knowing what these guys go through, year in and year out — missing their Families — makes me feel great,” said Baker.
In addition to the high flying, there were static displays of various military aircraft, race cars and large trucks.