Jim Lawrence says “I flew in four wars (couldn’t get along with anybody!!!).” Flying as a Naval Aviator in Southeast Asia, eleven months after he pinned on Wings of Gold he was asked to volunteer to fly the Birddog as a FAC. He was flying A4's out of Chu Lai with VMA-211. Jim says “being only 21, I of course said sure why not, if needed that badly!!! Being dumber than a box of rocks I figured... why go into combat at 500+ when you can go in at 100 and on the deck...what could possibly go wrong!!!" Almost 30 years later, Jim led the first strike of “Deliberate Force” 8/30/1995 in Bosnia flying an A10.
Michael J. Durant, CW4 (Retired), participated in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause (Panama invasion December 1989), Desert Storm (Liberation of Kuwait in January-March 1991), and Restore Hope (Somalia in August-October 1993). On October 3, 1993, while piloting an UH-60 “Blackhawk” in Mogadishu, Somalia, he was shot down and held captive by hostile forces. He was released eleven days later. His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star with Valor device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, one with Valor device, the POW/MIA ribbon, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and numerous other awards.