Decorated airman inspires DES students

Special to The Log
Fifth graders from Destin Elementary School during a field trip to the Air Force Armament Museum with retired U.S.A.F. Lt. Col. Buddy Bowman.

The fifth grade students at Destin Elementary School were recently treated to an informative and motivational presentation by Shalimar resident and retired Lieutenant Colonel Buddy Bowman of the United State Air Force.

Bowman’s military achievements include a flight in an NF-104 rocket plane. He is also an instructor pilot who flew fighter missions over North Vietnam, earning him a Silver Star.

Ten year old Baye Bowman — Bowman's granddaughter, was one of the fifth grade students from Cindy Huggins fifth grade science class who went on the field trip to the Air Force Armament Museum on Nov. 7.

As a young man growing up on a farm in Idaho, Buddy built model airplanes and dreamed of flying. He told the students to find their passion and read all they could about it.

"Take good care of yourselves, work hard, be proactive, take responsibility for your actions, said Bowman.

The students and Bowman posed for tons of pictures while at the museum, including one in front of the F-104 inside the large building.

The children enjoyed listening to the many exciting stories and words of wisdom from Bowman.

"Students hear these things from their teachers every day, but when a guest speaker comes to the classroom and tells the students to stay in school, and never give up, it seems to have an even greater impact," said Huggins. "The children are fortunate to have such a dedicated, encouraging person like Buddy to volunteer his time."