Profile - The CAF Red Tail Project

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South St. Paul, MN, United States
The mission of the Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) Red Tail Squadron is to preserve and share the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots. The Airmen served with distinction during WWII (and beyond). They overcame racism on the ground to fight fascism in the air, fighting for a country that turned a blind eye to policies and a large population that discriminated against these men and their families because of the color of their skin. The CAF Red Tail Squadron restored and flies a red-tailed P-51C Mustang such as the Airmen flew during WWII. The airplane appears at air shows in North America and at each stop her crew tells the story of the Airmen and how through persistence and courage they overcame huge obstacles in order to serve in the military. In 2011, the CAF Red Tail Squadron developed a traveling exhibit called "RISE ABOVE" to educate people - especially young people - about the Airmen and how they demonstrated the importance of setting goals and overcoming obstacles in order to succeed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Salute To Shopping

     Congratulations to everyone who actually scored what they wanted yesterday during the shopping commotion that is commonly known as "Black Friday." Surprisingly, "Black" does not refer to the mood of shoppers after they've spent the best part of a day traipsing from mall to store to big box retailer after awakening at 3 a.m. in order to try and take advantage of the "quantities limited" doorbuster deals at 4 a.m. Rather, it's how economists have labeled what the shopping frenzy is supposed to do for retailers - put their earnings in the black [ink] thanks to the dollars that are rolling in from the shoppers.
     Folks in the military have another shopping option besides braving the crowds (assuming they are even stationed near a city with shopping). That would be the "PX" or Post Exchange (Army), "BX" (Base Exchange) for the Air Force, "NEX" (Navy Exchange), "MCX" (Marine Corps Exchange) and "CGX" (Coast Guard Exchange). Unlike its military grocery counterpart - the commissary - an exchange doesn't receive federal government subsidies and is operated like a for-profit department store. Any money left over after paying salaries and other expenses is typically given over to local activities that help build and maintain morale for base personnel and their families.
     As has been mentioned a couple of times in this blog, the CAF Red Tail Project has an online store. We don't have a catchy name for it - maybe we could call it the RTX! - but we're not shy about the fact that we do want to sell products and make a profit. Like the other "X"s, any money left over after paying our suppliers is plowed back into activities that benefit a lot of folks.  These include keeping the P-51C Mustang flying (unusual live-and-in-person history lesson for WWII, history and aviation buffs), nurturing educational relationships with schools (thinking "outside the book"), and building the RISE ABOVE traveling exhibit (taking the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen to people across the country).
     Whether you shopped at an "X" yesterday or hit the other commercial stores, we hope you'll check out our online store, too.  It's a great place to find unique and useful gifts that any recipient would be thrilled to discover under the tree in just five short weeks!

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