Pilots Get Wings of Gold

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Attorney General John Ashcroft said Friday there is an increased likelihood of a terrorist attack against Americans, or American property
from Al Qaida.

Therefore, the nation's security status was upgraded from yellow to orange.

Possible targets could be apartment buildings, hotels and other so-called soft targets with light security.

The upgrade happened to come on a day that is very special for pilots at NAS Meridian.

The naval aviator designation ceremony, commonly known as the winging, is one of the oldest and most time honored traditions in the Navy.

But it's of particular consequence right now. With the threat of war looming, the 20 young men and one young woman know there's a chance that within in a year, they could be at some overseas port, helping in the fight against terror or a war against Iraq.

It has taken these new aviators about two years to get to this point.
There are less than 400 new naval aviators designated in a year, so these men and women are in an elite group.

Chances are members of this elite group will take up the fight for freedom sometime soon.