Gathering Of Eagles Descends On Maxwell AFB

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By Alabama News Network

American heroes gather at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. 

 
The Gathering of Eagles features retired and current military members who were honored for their heroism as the teach tomorrow's air men and women about the sacrifice of service and duty.
 
Maxwell Air Force Base has hosted the event for over 30 years. It's a chance for students here to learn from heroes from the past and the present. 
 
Thirteen people were chosen to be honored as eagles this year. Some of those men and women served in World War Two, including Bud Anderson.
 
Anderson was one of the few surviving airmen who flew in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. 
 
He took to the skies in his fighter and protected the skies from German planes.
 
It's a day that's still fresh on his mind. 
 
"It was an enormous site. You could see all the landing craft with the rooster tails coming out. We could see smoke. It was a tremendous, tremendous feeling of what was going on at the moment," said Anderson.
 
He isn't the only world war two veteran at the gathering of eagles. Bernice Haydu was one of the first female pilots in the U.S. military. Her experimental all female squadron helped train soldiers and pilots stateside before they went to fight overseas.
 
"The way they trained us was the same as the male cadets. We lived the military life, we were subject to military discipline," said Haydu.
 
There were also modern day heroes as well. Major Barry Crawford has served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He was recognized for a 10 hour mission where he took out over 150 members of the Taliban.
 
"I don't consider myself a hero. Really my heros are the teammates who didn't come home or were missing that have that trauma from the operations we were doing. The eagles that are here are also my heroes. Pure pioneers," said Maj. Crawford. 
 
The eagles will be making their presentations throughout the rest of the week. 


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