ROME, Ga., Sept. 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will have a very special opening act at the Wings Over North Georgia Airshow: a parade of veterans down the flight line at the Russell Regional Airport.
Airshow organizers are extending an invitation to all former, current and retired members of the U.S. Armed Services to be honored in front of record crowds expected on Saturday, October 18th.
"We hope this flight-line parade of veterans will be the thank-you and welcome home that some never got," said airshow organizer John Cowman. "They will be the inspiration for the 2014 Thunderbirds' final fall performance in the Southeast before returning home for their airshow season finale."
After the US Army Ft Benning Silver Wings performance Saturday, attending veterans will be asked to gather during a brief intermission and march together down the flight line in front of the crowd line guests. They will be grouped in chronological order of their service, from World War II through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Some of these men and women never received the recognition and respect they deserved when they came home but our airshow team is committed to honoring all veterans and the planes they flew," said Cowman.
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are not the only Wings Over North Georgia performers honoring their military brothers and sisters at October's airshow. Twenty-three-year USAF veteran pilot Jerry "Jive" Kerby is slated to perform both days, as well as Air National Guard pilot John Klatt and Air Force Reserve veteran Bill Braack, piloting the Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Car. The Sky Soldiers Demonstration Team will perform using their US Army Cobra helicopters and the official demonstration parachute team of Fort Benning, Georgia, United States Army – the Silver Wings -- will be jumping from a C-130 Hercules crewed by the men and women from the 94th Airlift Wing stationed at Dobbins ARB. Most of the world-famous GEICO Skytypers team are also former military pilots, using their skills to demonstrate the low-level, precision flying techniques of the SNJ-2. Warbirds fans will have a chance to see Jim Tobul demonstrate his restored F4U Corsair, Scott Yoak performing with his P-51D Mustang and Dr. Joseph Masessa will soar with his Grumman OV-1 Mohawk twin engine turbo prop.
World-class aerobatic teams are also scheduled to perform both days, with select performers participating in the night air show at Wings Over North Georgia, including the first female U.S. National Aerobatic Champion Patty Wagstaff. Other aerobatic performers include Buck Roetman and Wild Horse Aviation, Mike Wiskus, the Lucas Oil Parachute Team, the Walkabout Tiger Aerobatic Team, escape artist Hotwire Harry and jet-powered glider pilot Bob Carlton.
"We're proud to have such an incredible line-up of world-class military and civilian acts," Cowman said. "Not to mention the static displays of military planes, warbirds and experimental aircraft. We are looking forward to a great airshow with the Parade of Veterans as the highlight of the weekend honoring our past and present members of the military."
A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=27910
For more information about the Saturday's Smoke-n-Thunder concert series, BBQ competition and Wings Over North Georgia Airshow contact Brenda Little at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wingsovernorthgeorgia.com
Source: Wings Over North Georgia