Tomorrow I take the first step from being a regular Air Force officer to being an Air Force aviator. The magic happens at Doss Aviation, Pueblo, Colorado. Here I will go through four, eight hour days of academics followed by at quite a few flights in the DA-20. I won’t ever solo but that only takes a small portion of the stress away. The students here, future pilots, CSO’s and RPA’s, affectionately call this place dosschwitz. Now the play on words is extreme considering what actually happened at Auschwitz, but for the military aviator no piece of humor is too crude. This is the place where our hopes and dreams come to die. More accurately, the place where the USAF crushes our hopes and dreams. A roughly 10% attrition rate means that I should make it through this course. People get cut for all sorts of reasons though, some of which you wouldn’t expect. I can’t stop my nerves from creeping up on me.