Class of 1981 40th Reunion Project
HH-3 Static Display - That Others May Live
In honor of our 40th reunion, the Class of 1981 will raise funds in support of the construction and maintenance of a new HH-3 Jolly Green Giant static display, which will be located near the north gate of the United States Air Force Academy. We are excited about supporting this Academy priority as a gift to honor the legacy, preserve the legacy and inspire our future Air Force Combat Rescue Crews.
Most importantly, cadet development is grounded in the cadet experience (military, academic, athletic and the airmanship). Foundational to the cadet experience are the Cadet Honor Code and the Air Force Core Values. Combat search and rescue (CSAR) embodies and reflects all that Department of the Air Force holds dear - Integrity, Service and Excellence - what we expect of all Airman, Guardians and cadets. Those entering a profession in the military swear allegiance to the Constitution and promise to work for the good of the Nation.
Any aircrew member unfortunate enough to have been shot down behind enemy lines, then picked up by one of our combat rescue crews, is eternally grateful for the Airmen who risked their lives to bring them home. This was especially true for Vietnam era flyers rescued by Jolly Green Giant crews, flying into harm’s way that others may live. Jolly Green Giant crews were awarded over 190 Silver Stars, 24 Air Force Crosses (three to Academy graduates) and one Medal of Honor. CSAR was also a big player during our careers in Desert Storm, Kosovo and the Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The overall cost of the new static display including site prep and installation is initially estimated at $1.1 million. The Class of 1981 has a goal of raising $500,000 to support the project, and there is a goal to raise $600,000 from others in the Air Force Academy community. Our portion of the project will initially be fueled by existing class gift funds of $300,000 and we are looking to raise an additional $200,000 in support from our classmates in honor of our 40th reunion. The Class of 1981 will be honored with permanent recognition at the location of the static display. It will serve as a permanent reminder for generations to come of our class's commitment to the pursuit of building leaders of character and grit for the nation.
The HH-3 Jolly Green Giant Static display will be located just inside the North Gate of the Academy and will be connected by a red brick path to the existing Air Warrior Combat Memorial (AWCM).
Legend has it, that on the occasion of an HH-3 Jolly Green Giant landing at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, home of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, the Wing Commander, Colonel Robin Olds, literally rolled out the red carpet and personally met the crew as they exited the aircraft. Briskly shaking the hands of each of the Jolly Green crew members, he swore he would personally “kick the butt” of any of his flyers who allowed the Jolly Green crew to buy their own drinks at the Club. A statue of Robin Olds is currently the centerpiece of the AWCM.
Maybe now more than ever, our “Second to None” class wants to emphasize to all graduates that the Long Blue Line strives to never leave anyone behind - on the battlefield or in life!
Please contact the ’81 Class Gift Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.