Whiteman Air Force Base - The cameras were rolling on the set of Dolphins Tale, Morgan Freeman was in his element... millions of dollars were transforming a group of actors efforts into a blockbuster movie. This is the world Kurt Yaeger lives in. As a Hollywood Actor and world renowned XGames BMX rider, having cameras pointed in his direction is a normal day at the office.
He’s here with Erin Simmons Nemec who won the first of three XGames silver medals on the slopes of Mount Snow, Vermont in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans... moments shared on television sets around the world... another extreme sports athlete not afraid to have her picture taken... performance recorded.
Today at Whiteman Air Force Base the two athletes found themselves strapped into the cockpit of the World’s most technologically advanced stealth aircraft... an aircraft capable of invisible flight and pin point delivery of nuclear as well as conventional weaponry... the B2 Bomber.
Not many visitors or even Airmen of our nations Air Force Global Strike Command get to climb up into the cockpit of these over 2 billion dollar aircraft... they’re top secret... check... make that... super top secret.
“I saw more jaw dropping holly crap stuff today then I’ll ever see if given seven more lifetimes” said Kurt Yaeger, who played Tim, a wounded warrior recovering in the VA Hospital that Freeman worked at in Dolphin Tale the movie “... but truly the highlight of my day here at Whiteman has been meeting the Airmen who secure, maintain and fly the missions... sharing my life story and hearing theirs all day long.”
For Erin Simmons Nemec, coming on her first American300 Never Quit Series tour has been a life changing experience “ I didn’t realize there were so many layers to how our Armed Forces perform their job, how many individuals perform incredibly complex tasks to allow 2 pilots to climb up the ladder and sit in the cockpit. I thought I knew complexity, I thought I’d been a part of world class production at events like XGames and the Olympics, but nothing prepared me for what I’ve witnessed over the past 48 hours these Airmen are amazing... I don’t know how to say it any better.”
As the athletes depart Whiteman AFB tonight, it will be months before they rejoin the Never Quit Series effort and share their life stories with the commands other three bases: Minot, Malmstrom and F.E. Warren Air Force Bases.
“We can only ask these volunteer guests to give up so much of their free time” says Robi Powers, also a volunteer and the host of the series and founder of American300 Warrior Tours the nonprofit that has teamed up with Air Force Global Strike Command to produce the visits “The best part is that Kurt and Erin will be back, in the meantime we’ll be showcasing 3 adaptive Xgames Gold and Silver Medalists who are racing in this years Baja 1000 and a silver star wounded warrior U.S. Marine will be with us during the month of June at 3 of the Commands bases out west.”
Until then ‘Never Quit’ spreading the word and sharing the pictures. “Thanks to Barksdale and Whiteman AFB’s public affairs offices and our own efforts at American300 we have nearly 1,000 pictures up on line for friends and family to share and have fun with” says Powers “ these guests are helping us help Airmen and their families, having so many awesome photos to help us remember their effort is fantastic.”
The American300 Never Quit Series continues...
STORIES - PHOTOS - VIDEOS and SURVEY are available at: www.American300.org
For more on Kurt Yaeger visit his sites:
Air Force Global Strike Command Information can be viewed at: www.afgsc.af.mil
American300 is a 501c3 All Volunteer Nonprofit engaged in promoting overall resiliency and strength in today’s Armed Forces. No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is ever intended.
Special Note- American300 would like to wish Brigadier General Scott Van der Hamm the best as he soon transitions from being the base Commander at Whiteman AFB to a new assignment in San Antonio Texas! Keep being GREAT General.