Calling the experience "breathtaking," Taylorsville resident Rita Nadeau was thrilled to take part in the 94th Airlift Wing Boss Lift March 23. Presented at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, the program provided insight into the Air Force Reserve and the opportunity to ride in a cargo airplane, named C-130H3 Hercules.
"One of my employees, Ray Lewis, an Air Force Reservist at Dobbins Air [Reserve] Base nominated me for the Boss Lift and asked me if I was interested. I was surprised and very excited to say, 'Yes,'" said Nadeau, finance manager of the Dallas Post Office. "The overall experience was quite an honor.
"Getting to see and be with the 94th Airlift Reservists for the day was very humbling. Knowing they serve our country as they do daily, we cannot thank them enough. Everyone was very professional and courteous. We started the day with a few speakers in different ranks that [were] very informative. Then we went for a hour and half flight from Dobbins, to Stone Mountain — circling the mountain — then over Lake Allatoona, then over the city of Atlanta. … We flew about 1,000 feet off the ground. It was breathtaking and such a great experience. It was much more than I expected and am so appreciative to my employee, Ray Lewis."
A resident of Douglasville, Lewis is a rural carrier associate who has worked for Nadeau at the Dallas Post Office for one and a half years.
"The Boss Lift is offered to civilian personnel to thank them for their understanding in allowing Reserve members the frequent time off needed to serve our country," he said.
While the Boss Lift adventure spanned less than six hours, Nadeau's memories of this experience will last a lifetime.
"My son, Dustin Kilgore, is a pilot and when I told him the news, he was amazed that a civilian could have that opportunity," she said. "He told me what an honor that would be for him as well if he ever had the chance. I gained a memory of a lifetime with this experience. I am just in awe of the dedication of our servicemen and women.
"I told Ray after the flight: 'This day was such an honor and a great experience. I thank you so much [for] this opportunity and for serving our country.'”