The book I read is an autobiography, Return With Honor, By Captain Scott OGrady with
Jeff Coplan. Jeff Coplan is a prominent writer for the New York Time Magazine. He is
also the author of Gold Buckle.
This young captains life began in Long Beach California in 1967.Scott OGrady
has two siblings a brother and a sister, Paul and Stacy. His Father was a doctor at Long
Beach Community Hospital and also a certified pilot. His mother was a house wife
which is one of the hardest jobs of all. His family was very patriotic.
Scott was an average student throughout his years in school. Even though he was
average he had a very strong will to succeed. Being that his father was successful in his
career he had very high expectations for his three children, but also spent time
entertaining them often times by taking them for rides in his Cessna 150, which is a small
two seater plane. This is how Scotts life as a pilot began when he was six years old, The
first day he went with his dad he was presented with a certificate that read, this is to
certify that Scott OGrady has navigated the air ways and flown up to Santa Catalinas
unique Airport in the sky, which overlooks the ocean from an altitude of 1602 feet. By
the time he was in the eighth grade he became fixated on the idea he was going to be a
pilot In high school he was a kicker on the Long Beach Gators, which was his high school
football team. He began as a second string player but a good friend, who was a
professional kicker, helped him to improve. This along with his strong will led him to
become an all star kicker. In the fall of his senior year he slaved to boost his grades. He
applied for admission to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Even though his
grades were good his Sat scores were low and he was rejected. He was disappointed but
his goal was still to become a fighter pilot. So he enrolled in an aeronautical engineering
program at the University of Washington in Seattle. He then switched his major to
accounting then to business then to forestry. He joined a fraternity and was in the ROTC
program. He took a short break from school then went back to live with his dad in
Seattle. His dads friend knew of a good school, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
in Florida. Scott applied and was accepted for the fall term but the Florida campus was
full so it was suggested that he go to the satellite campus in Prescott Arizona. The school
and the location were depressing so he put a lot of time into the ROTC program and
became the vice commander of more then a hundred cadets. He graduated after
accumulating high credentials. He was then accepted into the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot
Program at Shepherd Air Force Base in Texas from which he graduated and was now a
US Air Force pilot.
After several years and much traveling around the world the Air Force stationed
him in Aviano Italy in 1992. In 1995 he was briefed to enforce a no fly zone in Bosnia.
At that point he was shot out of the sky. His plane was mangled, but he managed to
survive the crash by ejecting out of the plane. After he landed he had to escape Bosnian
storm troopers that were on the constant lookout for him. He had little water and no
food. He survived off of eating ants and foliage that he found. After five days of being
constantly persued he finally made radio contact with NATO who sent a rescue team to
save Scott OGrady.
The thing that impressed me most about Captain Scott OGrady is the fact that
even when he was enduring the hardest parts of his life he never gave up. For example
when he applied for the Air Force Academy in Colorado and was rejected he still persued
a college education.
I chose to read about Scott OGrady because he impressed me with his
determination to live and to gain world wide recognition for his heroic conflict. I think
he is a very courageous person and represents his country well.
Scott made a large contribution to the country when he choose to go to the Air
Force and enforce world peace. The next contribution he made was the ability to restore
hope in other troops who were fighting in Bosnia at the time.
I would recommend this book to anyone who thinks that cant over come small
obstacles in life. This book shows that anyone can overcome anything if they are strong
willed and put their mind to it.