Its a miserable night for the Red Hawks of the 142nd Oregon Air Guard.
My heart breaks for them.
Normally they are sharp and precise and do what most of us only imagine as they slice through the air with their F-15s.
Those on the ground attack their jobs of keeping the aging jets in top shape---and together with the pilots---help protect all of us here in the Northwest. They are the only fighter jets around---and train over and over again to intercept threats from Portland to Seattle and beyond.
The loved ones of the pilots stay behind with their hopes and prayers that they'll return safely to earth.
And they almost always do.
But not tonight. I'm hoping for a miracle rescue of the missing pilot who crashed his F-15 at 1:300 this afternoon---but as of 6:45pm its not looking good.
I've mentioned several times my brother was an F-18 pilot. I've been there when he and his wife have talked about pilots they knew who crashed---felt the impact it has on the entire unit---imagined the crushing blow to the family.
Somewhere tonight---someone from the military is sitting with another family---updating them from time to time on the search for their loved one--struggling to stay positive.
But in truth---you can bet its a miserable night for the Red Hawks and their families---as they wait for word on the missing pilot---and wonder what went wrong.