Jeff Cross, 24, is third-generation military and the first member of his family to join the air force.
Originally hailing from Calgary, Cross is a student pilot at the 15 Wing Moosejaw airbase.
“It is as cool as it looks, I try to take 5 seconds every flight to just soak it in and go ‘Wow, what an opportunity,’ not something that everybody gets to do every day,” he said.
Preparation for one hour long flight can take several hours, but it’s a labour of love, Cross said, as he owes it to those who served before him to do so to endure that labour.
“Every day, I get to get in a plane and I get to go flying and I’m fortunate to do so, and I wouldn’t be able to do that if it weren’t for the sacrifices of those before myself,” he said.
He offered thanks to all those who served in the armed forces.
“Thank you doesn’t do it justice, but it would be the largest thank you.”
Along with flying, taking care of your teammates is a lesson of high importance in the air force, according to flight instructor Igor Vujaklija, as many student pilots train in dual piloted planes.
“Obviously, they’ll have the skill to be Canadian Air force pilots, but also walk away with that sense of camaraderie, it’s not just about me or the individual, it’s about the person beside you,” Vujaklija said.
Wing Commander Colonel Daniel Coutts said sacrifice and camaraderie part of the job when you join the armed forces.
“Sacrifice gives service its meaning, you can’t really have service unless it’s going to entail some form of sacrifice, in order to make those sacrifices you do need to have camaraderie,” Coutts said.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.