Monday, June 1, 2020
Fighter Jets Salute Those Who Have Risked Own Health in COVID-19 War
Fighter jets roared over St. Luke’s Wood River to acknowledge those who have risked their lives to take care of others during the coronavirus pandemic.
Saturday, May 16, 2020


A skyborne salute to health care workers, first responders and other essential workers roared across the skies above the Wood River Valley Friday morning.

The four planes flew up valley following the bike path, maintaining a tight formation hundreds of feet above as health care workers, fire fighters, law enforcement and others looked to the skies.

The flyover featured F-15 Strike Eagles from Mountain Home Air Force Base’s 366th Fighter Wing. They were accompanied by A-10 Warthogs from the 124th Fighter Wing based at Gowen Field in Boise.

Health care workers cheered as the jets approached.

The scene at St. Luke’s Wood River was 180 degrees opposite that two months ago when the parking lot was nearly empty as the hospital locked down and a security guard restricted traffic in and out to those being tested for COVID-19 at a drive-by tent outside the hospital.

At the time, Blaine County was one of the world’s leading hot spots for coronavirus.

Friday morning dozens of hospital workers spilled out of the hospital, clad in blue scrubs, face masks and, in some cases, face shields. Some talked on cell phones. Others chatted with co-workers as they awaited the flyover.

At least one health care worker wheeled out a patient so he could see the flyover, too.

Workers trained their eyes on the sky.

More than a dozen fire trucks and police cars, their lights flashing, took their places on the north end of the parking lot attracting the interest of small children brought by their parents to see the flyover.

Still more civilians filled the street across from the hospital and the nearby bike path.

“They say they’ve heard them in Hailey,” said one health care worker as he looked to the south. “It’s supposed to be two minutes for them to fly from there to here.”

“Awesome,” said one hospital employee as the jets, which had taken flight over St. Luke’s Family Clinic in Mountain Home 18 minutes earlier, roared overhead.

The flyover presented workers with a good excuse to get a little Vitamin D.

A number of workers cheered, raising their hands in the air.

“This is impressive,” said another. “A wonderful gesture.”

The jets flew northward then climbed to the left. They had four more hospitals to fly over, including those in Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Twin Falls, before the morning was over. Fighter jets had honored hospital workers in the Treasure Valley earlier in the morning.

Air Force flyovers have honored health care workers from Tampa Bay to Honolulu this week for their part in the battle against COVID-19.

Dozens of workers milled around the parking lot as they awaited the flyover.

“The service members, civilians and families of the Idaho military community appreciate the sacrifices made by all essential workers throughout the state of Idaho,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, Adjutant General of Idaho. “We re publicly displaying our appreciation with a flight over a few of our communities hit particularly hard by COVID-19.”


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