Jim Clifford’s excellent story, “Vietnam War’s ‘Freedom Birds,’” in the Nov. 18 edition of the Daily Journal recalls a chapter of the fighting in Vietnam that is not particularly well-known. The flight attendants who crewed the military charters to the war zone — as referenced in Clifford’s story — cannot be honored enough for their courage and compassion. Many of the flight attendants were the same age as our young soldiers.
Clifford’s detailed and well-researched story also recalls “Operation Babylift,” as Saigon was about to fall to the Viet Cong, whereby hundreds of flight attendants from the commercial airlines all over the country volunteered to escort orphaned Vietnamese children to safety here in the United States. On the West Coast, many Western Airlines flight attendants become involved in this mission.
Clifford’s story thus reminds us of the essential goodness in everyone’s hearts, even in the most difficult of times, and is a further reminder that pure and selfless love is the strongest and most lasting force in the world in any era.