From my earliest memories I recall being surrounded by models. At a very young
age I watched in fascination as my father built them in every scale and subject. Of
course, I could not wait to get my hands on one and attempt to emulate what I saw him
doing. Under his tutelage, I soon had produced my own little collection of miniature ships,
tanks, and planes. As my skill increased, so did my desire for even more realism and
accuracy. In order to facilitate this, I had to research my subjects more extensively.
I found this to be as enjoyable as building the actual models, and in the process, gained
an appreciation for history that I still have to this day. No subject interested me more than WWII fighter planes and the stories of the men who flew them. I was certain that I should and would be a military pilot when I became old enough.
Heredity and military regulations of the time had other
ideas. My perfect vision of youth deteriorated until I needed glasses to read the chalkboard by the time I reached high school.
Sadly, I had to put flying on hold, but I still had a strong desire to serve my country. Since my father and two of his brothers
had been Marines, and they had me in awe of their own experiences, I too enlisted in the Corps. I requested to be trained as a rifleman
in the infantry and am proud to have been a “grunt”. We were on the go most of the
time, all over the globe, so there wasn’t much time for models during those years.
Finally, after coming back in one piece following Desert Storm, I took my Honorable
Discharge. This Sergeant of Marines returned to civilian life, college, and time for hobbies.
In the short ten years since then, I am now 35, have a wife and three great children. I live in an old farmhouse that I have been restoring, nestled among the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. It’s just a short drive to Asheville, where I work as a Critical Care Paramedic. Six years ago, I finally did get my private pilot certificate and joined the EAA and the AOPA. I still have immeasurable respect for this nation and its veterans. It is a great privilege to be allowed to honor them on this site. I model the aircraft they served in and worked on, never forgetting the men behind the machines. Semper Fidelis, John G. Soule e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org