Campus News

Hope from Above

  • Oct. 1, 2020
    2 min read

When COVID-19 began spreading through the U.S., Maj. Trevor Aldridge ’08 took to the skies to bring encouragement during the pandemic. As the No. 2 pilot for the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds, Aldridge was part of the Department of Defense’s America Strong mission, which coordinated flyovers of major cities in April and May to show support for health care professionals and other essential workers. “We’re going through challenging times, and it was nice to provide hope to people,” Aldridge said.

The idea began with a desire to thank front-line workers in Las Vegas, the Thunderbirds’ hometown. After a positive response, they traveled to the East Coast and joined the Navy’s Blue Angels to fly over New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Trenton, New Jersey. The Thunderbirds then traveled west, visiting locations including Austin, San Antonio, Denver, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Selflessness is something I love about Texas A&M’s awesome to see that quality across the country and particularly in Aggies.

Although their flights over Manhattan and the Washington Monument were particularly memorable to Aldridge, the flyovers that meant the most were in his home state. “As an Aggie and a Texan, I was proud to fly over Austin and San Antonio,” he said. “Those cities have undergone a lot, and there are many Aggies there, so showing them that we’re in this together and we’ll get through this meant a lot to me.”

While the flyovers inspired people across the nation, Aldridge was equally inspired by the response of health care workers and their commitment to the Aggie value of selfless service. “Selflessness is something I love about Texas A&M University, and I have seen it in so many people, whether they work in a hospital or stay home and wear a mask when they go out,” he said. “It’s awesome to see that quality across the country and particularly in Aggies.” 

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