KABUL, Afghanistan – The legendary retired Maj. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the first person to break the sound barrier, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, visited the troops here in the Kabul Base Cluster, April 16, 2012, during his “Speed of Sound Tour.”
Yeager, a test pilot in the United States Air Force, was the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound in 1947, when he flew the experimental Bell X-1 at a speed of Mach 1.
While here, Yeager promoted 1st Lt. Gary H. Suen, of the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade to captain, during a formal formation for the event that was held in Patriot Square on camp Phoenix.
Touring with Yeager was musician Barry Michael, a country singer from Atlanta, Ga.
Michael sang his latest single, “Uncountrify Me,” as well as several of his other songs that kept the audience tapping their feet, especially when he played “Hero’s and Angels,” which he wrote in honor of the World War II Veterans.
“That’s what I admire about you guys. You take care of me when I’m at home (in the United States), and right here (In Afghanistan),” said Michael between songs.
Following Michael’s performance, Yeager’s wife Victoria took the stage and said, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” which was her way of introducing Yeager as a video of Yeager’s career began to play on the screen.
The video ended in applause as Yeager made his way to the stage and spoke to a captivated audience as he told of his many missions and story’s of his accomplishments.
One of the things that Yeager repeated several times when asked about his accomplishments was “I was in the right place at the right time.”
After Yeager finished speaking, he took the time to answer several questions from the audience, such as how he felt about breaking the sound barrier, and Yeager answered simply, “I had a feeling of accomplishment.”
When asked what his favorite aircraft was, he said “The one that I didn’t crash in.”