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After hours of uncertainty, at in the afternoon word had finally come out that Castanon had survived.One of the medics told Mc Alister, “He just came out of surgery.There wasn’t a need at that time for them to know, but they were ready.All the F-4 aircraft that were flyable were loaded with bombs and ready for immediate takeoff to their assigned targets.This had never happened before and I remember thinking, at the time, that our base may not exist after the next few days, or sooner.That night I walked down to the flight line where our F-4 Fighter/Bombers were stationed and ready for war.I remember thinking that night on the flightline that this could be it.I enjoyed my job and all the assigned men were great to work with.

I believe that cooler heads in China, Russia, and North Korea prevailed.

Being that I once flew jets myself in the Air Force, I knew how the pilots must have felt - that they may never see their families again - if we went to war.

This was the real world and possibly the end of our beautiful planet as we knew it. It’s hard to tell someone who hasn’t been stationed on the front lines with nuclear weapons involved what it feels like.

My job was to check with the airmen assigned to repair and prepare the aircraft, and to have them all ready for launch if the orders were given by Headquarters.

We were an inch away from World War III and I could feel it in the air.

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