A newly married couple, both Air Force pilots, had not seen each other much in the year since they were married. Why? Well, they are both serving their country on separate deployments. Here's the thing.
Christine pilots a KC 135 stratotanker and her husband Jeff is a F/A 18 pilot.
At the end of the mission in Afghanistan, Jeff was checking in with the refueling pilot at it turned out to be...wait for it...his wife.
Jeff McLean wrote in an e-mail Thursday that he and his wife had tried to coordinate their flight schedules but with more than 50 KC-135 tankers taking off every day to refuel both Navy and Air Force fighters, it was too difficult to connect in the air. On his last combat flight, Jeff McLean knew she would be flying in the same area at the same time but since they had never been able to meet on previous flights, he was merely hoping to hear his wife's voice on the radio.
I will occasionally get my wife flowers to show her how much I love her. Jeff sends his wife mach diamonds and the sweet glow of afterburners.
"After she gave me about 10,000 pounds of fuel, I flew right up next to her cockpit. She turned on the lights and waved, and I could see her, but it's pretty dark in my jet, so I'm not sure that she ever saw me waving . . . We were able to fly together all the way out of country and back over the Arabian Sea at 500 knots, then I had to head back and land on the ship and she headed back to her base. As we broke apart, I lit my afterburner, which hopefully looked pretty cool in the dark. It was an absolutely perfect flight."
Jeff's wing man took a picture of the chance meeting.