"[I]t's hard to believe that it has been five decades since Neil Armstrong and I walked on the Moon," writes astronaut and moonwalker Buzz Aldrin in his foreword to Rod Pyle's stellar (pun intended) book, "First on the Moon: The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Experience." Indeed, it is hard to believe.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proposed a new Cold War initiative designed to protect the United States from a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. The anti-ballistic missile system was called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), but it quickly gained the nickname “Star Wars” after the popular science-fiction films.
As a military brat, I’ve seen stranger things growing up on military bases around the world. Few experiences topped the first time I saw the ultra-secret SR-71 Blackbird. My Father, a young Navy lieutenant commander, was operating the range and flying search-and-rescue while stationed at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada.