GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — “We’ve been hosting airshows since the early 80’s, and through hosting the air shows, through hosting the air shows, grand junction regional airport became a big fuel stop for navy aircraft at the end of the valley” voiced fuel coordinator, Jessie Vanmeter.
This time after a long hiatus, the blue angel air show is stopping for more than fuel.
Blue Angel, Tamara Perez stated, “The last time we were here was 2019, and think we wanted to make sure we wanted to visit a place we haven’t been to prior to covid, and I think we’re all happy to be back here.”
The application process starts two years in advance to prep for what these soldiers get into, which is more than just an air show.
“We have events planned within the community, some requiring hospital visits, we’re going to go to a couple schools, maybe the VFW, just going out and doing stuff in the town. Just making sure the town knows hey, we’re ready to meet everyone and its more than just an air show” Perez echoed.
Which correlates to a boost for the city.
Vanmeter uttered, “I think it’s very important for the city to have another event for families to come out to and enjoy themselves in the valley, as well as I’m sure it has a huge economic impact on hotels, restaurants, and various businesses.”
Becoming a blue angel is serious business. Just like how cities apply for the show, so do the soldiers.
“I applied to be part of the team back in 2022, each year the blue angels accept applicants of certain backgrounds and aviation as well” Perez mentioned.
Not all pilots, walk the same path to become a blue angel, like my pilot, seven.
Blue Angel pilot, Thomas Zimmerman added, “Throughout the ability of being recruiting to play lacrosse with the navy academy got me into flying f-18’s and throughout that portion of my career I was fortunate enough to find myself in a blue flight suit.”
For all the young children out there fascinated with the skies, here is a message.
Perez believes, “It is not a dream to be just kept a dream. You can do it, and if you want to do it, you’ll do it. Success doesn’t come without hard work, and it doesn’t come without its failures. You are going to fail at times at life, but it’s how you’re going to learn from those failures and continue to progress and be better every day.”
My day was definitely better than day before as I got to be the celebrity guest rider to represent our city!
Perez stated, “Seeing you get off that jet made my week, just knowing we can go out to the community show we can do and meet them. I can’t think of a better job in the world. We’re extremely happy to be out here in Grand Junction Colorado, and we thank you.”