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Publisher's comment
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Camden Media Co. Publisher Mike Mischner - photo by Camden Media photo by Martha Bruce

His name is David Underwood. His call sign is “Stevie.” His face is the face of American freedom. His face is the face of American power.

Because of Capt. David Underwood, and the other brave men and women in the United States Air Force, we civilian Americans can sleep comfortably at night in our warm beds while he is fighting our battles.

When our mind pictures our warriors, we imagine the likes of Rambo or Conan the Barbarian ... but those are fictional characters. David Underwood is no fictional character. In real life our warriors are men and women just like him ... nice, smart, clean-cut brave young Americans.

The first thing you would notice about Capt. Underwood is his smile. If ever there were a “million dollar smile,” David has it … whether saying hello or strapping himself into the cockpit of his fighter jet. It’s always there.

David is 29 years old and a native of Maryland. His dad was an Air Force enlisted man. David dreamed of flying fighters ever since he witnessed a Thunderbirds air show at 9 years of age while his dad was stationed in Las Vegas.

After high school, where he wrestled and ran track, David followed his dream to the Air Force Academy. He began flying small planes and eventually climbed the ladder to become one of the select few who can be called fighter pilots.

David has a gleam in his eye when he talks about his wife Randi, who is a professional photographer. “She is very supportive … very understanding!” Thank you, Randi, for allowing David to do what he does to keep us safe.

David seems to be just a regular guy. He could be our next-door neighbor, our son, our brother, our husband, our best friend. He has a pet Terrier named Remi. He loves the outdoors and loves to hike. But, most of all, he loves his job and loves the opportunity to serve. He already has two tours of duty in Iraq under his belt.

David good-naturedly denies that fighter pilots deserve their reputation for being “cocky.” However, if anyone deserves to be “cocky,” it is David and those other men and women who fly the fighter jets of the United States Air Force.

So, a heartfelt thank you to Capt. David “Stevie” Underwood for what you do for this magnificent country of ours.