"The Benefits of Being Barney" is the latest installment in my poetic memoir, A Wave of Poetry. During my first assignment with the Air Force, I became the squadron flight surgeon for the 27th Fighter Squadron. Their pilots kind of adopted me, had me fly with them, and gave me a call sign and everything.
Fighter pilots, of whatever jet or branch of service, form a kind of fraternity. When I boarded the Lincoln, I had merely to introduce myself by my fighter call sign, Barney, to be immediately welcomed and accepted as a brother by the FA/18 Hornet (pictured) pilots on board. This had certain benefits for which I was most grateful. At the time, it almost felt like coming home. I was back in fighter country.