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DES MOINES, IA – You could say it runs in the family for Doug and Todd Pierce.
“Well I can remember when I was a pilot out here he would come out when we’d go to life support and he’d put on my helmet, when he was very young son and now he’s doing what I used to do,” said Doug Pierce.
Doug Pierce is a retired Major General for the Iowa Air National Guard.
And his son, Todd, is a full-time instructor pilot following in his footsteps.
“Just what I always wanted to do. It’s really one of the few things I knew growing up as a kid was the military and coming out here and watching my dad take off I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” said Todd.
They both have ties to the 132nd Fighter Wing at the Des Moines Iowa Air National Guard Base.
And they both have flown the same type of fighter jets.
So watching this training is bringing back memories they both can relate too.
“Flying particularly because I flew the F-16 for 10 years, but I spent 28 years in the cockpit flying out of the Des Moines Airport with the 132nd Fighter Wing and it just always brings a lull of warm fuzzy to your heart to hear and see these jets once again,” said Doug.
It’s also somewhat of a historic day.
Soon, those in the area won’t hear the rumble of those F-16’s, as they will be leaving
Des Moines later this summer, for good.
So these kinds of days spent together, watching the jets are something Todd and his dad won’t soon forgot.
“I’m proud of what he did, I’m proud of what I do and I’m glad I made it back in time to actually go out and fly with him on his wing and have fun there together,” said Todd.
“Proud that my son did follow me and just envious that wish I could still be doing it,” said Doug.
Doug and Todd aren’t the only ones with the father son connection.
Currently, five Iowa Air National Guard Pilots have father’s who flew the same jets.