Students and staff at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES' Niagara Career and Technical Education Center recently played host to the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
Maj. John Gallemore and several of his team came and talked to the career and technical education students about what it is like to be part of the elite aerial demonstration team. They were in town for the Thunder Over Niagara air show and stopped by to show the classes a video of their routine and explain to them what it takes to be part of the team.
"I was really glad to see them and I think they gave a great presentation and the students really enjoyed it," said school resource officer Deputy Bill Taczak, who helped to organize the visit.
Gallemore has flown an F-16 with the team for two seasons and as a member of the Air Force for 13 years.
"If opportunity presents itself, we enjoy coming to the schools where we are performing and talking to the kids. It is great to see them get motivated when we share with them about our experience," he said.
Tech Sgt. Jose Hidalgo definitely gave the auto mechanics students something to think about as far as a career.
"I have been with the team for three seasons and with the Air Force for 10 years, and we always try to talk to students about what we do and how important it is make sure that our pilots are flying safe planes. That is our No. 1 priority," he said.
The team also talked about how the show at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station was being dedicated to the first responders and American troops during and after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.
NCTEC Principal Dr. Melisa Niver said, "I am honored that the Unites States Air Force Thunderbirds chose the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center to visit. Their impressive presentation encouraged our students to never give up and to work hard to achieve their dreams. On behalf of our students and staff, we are extremely grateful for their visit and it will be something we will never forget!"