Orlando Rocks Benefit Inc Meets One of America's Bravest!

Larry with Col. Joe Kittinger and Navy Mom Mary

On September 16, 2016,  members of the Orlando Rocks Benefit, Inc. Team attended the Annual POW/MIA Day in Orlando, Florida.  

It was an historical event to say the least.   Presented to the public were Prisoners of War from 3 of the major wars to affect this nation:  World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War.

History just plain old History all in one location at one time!

We were there, cameras in hand to take photographs and talk with those who made History!

There has been a lot of uproar around our nation about THIS MATTERS & THAT MATTERS!   However, ALL that matters is that our nation come together to protect, defend and support the very individuals who stood up against oppression and communistic attitudes.

So when someone disrespects the flag or our national anthem, take a long look at those men and women who put their lives on the line to defend that right like Col. Joe Kittenger, USAF (Retired)

On August 16, 1960 Joe Kittinger became a real-life superhero.

It was the "highest step in the world".  Joe Kittinger made history as he ascended to 102,800 feet in a high-altitude balloon and jumped to Earth, setting four world records.

"The most fascinating thing is that it's just black overhead - the transition from normal blue to black is very stark... I was struck with the beauty of it.  But I was also struck by how hostile it is:  more than 100 degrees below zero, no air.  If my protection suit failed, I would be dead in a few seconds.  Blood actually boils above 62,000 feet."

During a distinguished USAF career, Joe served as a test pilot, Squadron Commander, and Vice Wing Commander, and he spent 11 months as a POW in Vietnam.

When the U.S. got involved in Vietnam, he volunteered for a tour of duty in the South Pacific.  Three times.  He commanded the famous 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, flew 483 combat missions, dogfighted (dogfought?) a bunch of NVA MiGs, and survived being shot down and spending 11 months as a prisoner of war in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" – one of the most ruthless dungeons this side of the Middle Ages.

Kittinger continued in the USAF after his experience in North Vietnam, finally retiring in 1978 at the age of 50 as a Colonel.  After "retiring" Joe subsequently set two world ballooning records and won numerous ballooning competitions, becoming the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic in a hot air balloon.

Currently Joe spends his retirement hanging out in Orlando, enjoying the sun.

Joe is a National Aeronautics Association Elder Statesman of Aviation; was awarded a Lifetime Achievement in Aviation trophy from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; was made an Honorary U.S. Army Golden Knight; and is enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the U.S. Ballooning Hall of Fame and the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame. To date, Joe has logged more than 16,800 hours of flying time in over 93 aircraft. His adventures are detailed in his autobiography, Come Up and Get Me.

For more information about this American Hero visit:

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