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It was only after the death of his 80-year-old neighbor that Senior Airman Robert Evans of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, learned all they had in common. Now Evans hopes his story of what might have been inspires others to do things differently. Here’s his poignant letter to Air Force Times: My neighbor, retired Maj. Max B. Olson, was a Vietnam veteran who had an arsenal of amazing stories. He was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal and numerous Air Medals, and was a graduate of several flight schools. He had nearly 6,000 flight hours. Throughout his Air Force career, he piloted…

The Washington Post recently told the story of oft-impersonated former Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler, whose photo appears on “literally hundreds of dating profiles and social media accounts.” None of the profiles or accounts actually belong to him; Chandler’s been happily married for 13 years, he told the newspaper. Chandler is just one notable example service members falling victim to online scammers. “In the past few years, there have been numerous online scams where criminals have either directly targeted military personnel or used actual and fictitious information about U.S. military members to defraud the public,” Air Force Office…

An old Air Force recruiting video in which a military instructor claims trainees are in better shape than most Marines just won’t go away. The Air Force removed the video from its website in 2009, but it in the world of social media, nothing really dies, so it was recently resurrected on Facebook. The 57-second video of trainees exercising is narrated by an unnamed elite “blue rope” military training instructor, who says that a common misconception is that the Air Force has the easiest PT standards of the military services. “Actually, we are the hardest when it comes the PT…

Actor Vince Vaughn comes from a long line of military veterans — and actually considered joining the service himself after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Vaughn instead decided to lend his support to the USO, entertaining troops around the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Saturday, the actor visited Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he met with airmen and screened his upcoming comedy “Unfinished Business” about a wayward business trip to Europe. The visit was part of Vaughn’s third USO tour and also marked the third time he’s screened upcoming films for troops, according to the USO. “My…

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has unveiled his annual reading list — 12 titles mostly recommended by you. More than 1,700 airmen wrote in over 10 days recommending favorite books and movies, enough, Welsh wrote in his opening message, to “fill a library … with amazing fictional, historical, and biographical works, along with fascinating ideas about personal and organizational values, growth, and success.” Topping this year’s book list is the 2012 “Air Commanders” by John Andreas Olsen. Part-military biography and part-operational analysis, the book tells the stories of 12 airmen who “shaped the central air campaigns in American history,”…

Four F-35As from the 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, flew the first ceremonial flyover of Joint Strike Fighters at a public event Sunday night. The jets flew over University of Phoenix Stadium for the NFL Pro Bowl, while a joint honor guard of service members from across Arizona presented the colors before the game, according to the base. F-35s have been arriving at Luke since the summer. The base will eventually host 144 of the jets by 2024 for pilot training. The Air Force will conduct another flyover of the stadium for the Super Bowl on Sunday,…

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