It was May of 2003. I was TDY to Nellis, having dinner at Gordon Biersch with my friend Jack. I hadn’t seen Jack in about 5 years, since we were Lieutenants together at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. In the 90’s, I was a communications officer, trying desperately to get into pilot training, and Jack was working in the test world at Eglin. He had already graduated pilot training and was going to fly the F-16, but was sent to Eglin with the promise of an F-16 training slot at some future date. The Air Force was just ramping back up pilot production after the post-Desert Storm drawdown, and Jack had a fresh set of pilot wings but no guarantee of ever flying again. Jack was a good friend and mentor to me and I sought his advice often; he inspired me to pursue my goal of flying.