Vandenberg stands on shoulders of giants as it turns 50
By Airman 1st Class Wesley Carter , 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 20, 2008
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif --
"It had to go," said Tech Sgt. (Ret.) Max Myer, a member of the first team to launch a rocket from Vandenberg.
Never has a statement been more true than today, as Vandenberg Air Force Base prepares to celebrate its 50th Anniversary.
A barbecue was put on to kick off the celebration, as well as honor the Airmen that blazed the trail for today's Vandenberg Airmen. Among those honored were Mr. Myer and Dave Young, a former missile systems analyst.
Mr. Myer and Mr. Young are friends that share a unique bond as being part of the beginning of space exploration.
"We weren't necessarily emotional about the experience," Mr. Young said. "We just had a job and made sure it was completed."
Not only did they complete it, but the design of the boosters that were used by Vandenberg's first Airmen is still being used today, said Jay Prichard, curator of the Vandenberg Heritage Center.
"If it wasn't for this generations dedication and passion to do nothing but succeed, Vandenberg's space launch capabilities wouldn't exist today," he said.
Although the dedication to the mission is still vibrant among today's space professionals, Vandenberg is different than it was in the late 1950's.
"Everything is different," said Mr. Young. "The exchange is a lot nicer, as well as the commissary."
"They even bag and carry out your groceries for you," said Mr. Young.
A startling difference to some is that Mr. Myer and his wife had their first child at the Vandenberg Hospital, which was located where Cocheo Park is now.
It is certain that as Vandenberg continues on in space exploration, and its celebration of 50 years of space launch that these two titans of launch and the team that they worked with will not be forgot.
"To celebrate the 50th Anniversary with past pioneers is to pass the torch to the next generation," Mr. Prichard said. "Vandenberg is forever indebted to these individuals."
Vandenberg will be burying a time capsule, having several distinguished visitors like Mr. Myer and Mr. Young as well as hosting a golf tournament to celebrate the golden anniversary.