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Jocks to GIs: Brad Faxon

See previous e-mail between Brad Faxon and Lee Yarbrough:

April 2-4 | April 5 | April 6-7


From: Brad Faxon

Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2003 5:06 AM
To: Lee Yarbrough 363 EACCS/CREW310
Subject: RE: Cold and raining

Good morning Lee,

I feel a little like you because we haven't had much sleep at all the past few nights. Starting times were early for me the first day and I was up at 530. Then we had to do it again Friday because Thursday was cancelled and now we have to go finish round 2. You can't believe how hard it was yesterday. Forty-two when we started off the 10th yesterday and wind chill who knows what. Not many groups finished both their rounds, we were on 17 green when the sirens suspended play. Only 4 guys are under par. Course was so mean: long and wet, with very fast greens.


I have to go finish one hole and then wait 3 or 4 hours to tee off.


I just wanted to touch base and let you know I am thinking about you and all that you guys have accomplished. Keep up the great work and I will write you more after round 3!


Brad


From: Lee Yarbrough 363 EACCS/CREW310

Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 8:23 AM
To: Brad Faxon
Subject: Cold and raining

Hi Brad,

Hope you and Dory are well. Pumped I am sure. Just talked to my Dad and he said it was rainy with wind out of the north, not typical Georgia weather for April. Stay warm ...


I would like to share last night's mission with you ...


Started out slow with nothing out of the ordinary occurring. About half way through we detected a battalion size movement of Iraqi armor moving toward our boys on the ground near Baghdad. It appeared to be a last ditch effort to conduct a large scale sneak attack. What they did not count on was us (JSTARS) being up there. We detected them, tracked them and then killed them. I really ran the gamut of emotions during the 5 hour battle. It is our job to prosecute the target, but at the same time I knew many of these young Iraqi solders were forced to fight or face execution. When it was all said and done our air forces left total carnage on the battlefield. I felt so alive, so proud of my crew mates, so confident in my abilities, but all that was tempered with a certain degree of personal contempt for the massive loss of life; and for what? Because of a diabolical megalomaniac.


You know sometimes when I meet people and tell them my profession they scoff, as if being in the military is not really a profession. But in my 18 years in the service I can honestly say this ... the difference between serving in the armed forces and the average civilian is that they are not placed in a position to put their life on the line in defense of their country. Brad, this war has humbled me. I see things from a slightly different perspective now. I appreciate things more. I thank you for your friendship and I am really, really praying for you this week.


Had good news here yesterday as they turned the phones on and I got to call Anita. She was so happy to hear my voice, as I was hers. I really hope one day you get to meet her as she is a special person.


I am off. Sleep then fly. Sleep then fly. Lost my day off as it was replaced by three more missions. Oh well, the more I fly the quicker the days go by. I will watch the E-ticker for updates from the course ...


Lee


From: Brad Faxon

Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2003 10:59 PM
To: Lee Yarbrough 363 EACCS/CREW310
Subject: 1st Round

Hey Lee,

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, but we had a busy day at the course and a bunch of friends over for dinner. It poured this afternoon and the par 3 got cancelled before everyone finished. David Toms and Padraig Harrington shared the title with a -6 score of 29 which is very good. Gary Player won closest to the pin on 9 at 4 inches and he played with Jack and Arnie and they all made two's!

We have already heard that tee times are half hour delayed because of rain and tomorrow's forecast for more rain and possibly flooding. It is cold as well. 53 the high tomorrow.

We saw on TV the tearing down of the statue of Hussein. Very good day in the news today. If there were a statue of Martha Burk it would be torn down here as well! No one cares about her this week, especially after her war comments!

I was interviewed by ESPN and the guy asked me how my relationship was with Lee Yarbrough! It caught me of guard that he would know, but I smiled and said better than they would ever know.

Tomorrow is the start and I play at 1209 with Appleby and DiMarco. Great pairing and glad I am not off at 8 am. I will be wearing the flag and I am proud of what you have accomplished and honored that you have a flag for me.

Keep it up and check out the action on Masters.com.

Talk to you soon,

Brad


From: Lee Yarbrough 363 EACCS/CREW310

Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2003 8:06 AM
To: Brad Faxon
Subject: RE: Lee

Hi Brad,

Wow! Unreal about how long the course is playing. Great story of you giving the guy two more tickets--that is good karma and it will come back on you I am sure. I have never been to Augusta. Driven by on my way to Savannah but have yet to walk the hallowed grounds. Too bad about the rain. I always look so forward to seeing Augusta on TV in all its splendor.

As for news on TV I prefer FOX. Without bashing CNN too hard, from my perspective that really don't "get" the big picture and they tend to stay to far to the "left" for my taste. Really don't get to see too much television. At best I see 15 minutes per day.

We were up last night during the strike on Saddam and his psycho kids. Did not contribute directly to that event as we were doing other things, but just knowing I was up in the air during the event warms my heart. Just for your information, I have now flown 7 missions with your battle flag. It was there for the fall of Baghdad, the taking of the palace and parade field as well as the probable demise of Saddam. When I finally give that flag to you it will be a very special flag. I will print a certificate telling the times and places the flag was present for.

We had a rough day yesterday. Got on the plane and all strapped in, started engines and something up front was burning. We had to don our oxygen masks and evacuate the plane. Isolated the problem but it took 3 hours to fix, so we sat on the incredibly hot tarmac while the maintenance guys busted their butts to get us in the air.

Once airborne we were faced with weather. Every where we wanted to orbit was covered with violent thunderstorms. Adversity was all around us. Next issue, we need gas. Since we took off late we missed our fragged tanker and now we are running out of gas and if we don't get some soon we "bingo" out and must return to base. We keep searching and finally found a tanker to provide us gas, but it is a 2 hour roundtrip, and the weather is a factor. Again, adversity is all around. Quick decisions are made, the right decisions are made and we get the gas and finally contribute to fight.

During this whole event my mind was thinking about you and Augusta and the adversity you will face and the decisions you will make. But, instead of a crew of men, you are one man. Alone and unafraid. That is what you do, you go to battle with the course, the elements, yourself. And if victorious what a feeling of accomplishment. We had a feeling of accomplishment last night, but probably not the same feeling you get when after 72 holes you drain the final putt and it is over...

We fly again tomorrow, then we get our first break in a month. I am really looking forward to not having to do anything. I am so tired that I don't think I even realize how tired I am. But as my Dad Buck says...you can catch up on your sleep when you die....

Talk to you soon,

Lee