Feel Good Friday: Son of Tuskegee Airman speaks to middle school students
LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- “Be all that you can be” were words of advice from retired U.S. Air Force Captain Howard Baugh, who was the guest speaker at Louisa County’s Black History Month presentation.
He is the son of Lieutenant Colonel Howard L. Baugh, who was a fighter pilot in World War II and a member of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American combat fighter pilots.
Baugh’s father inspired his journey in aviation, and although it got off to a rocky start, Baugh is forever grateful for the day his father gave him the opportunity to fly.
“The two best days of your life are the day you’re born and the day you figure out why, and I’m so glad I found aviation when I was 19,” he said.
Baugh tells his father’s story of being a Tuskegee Airman through pictures, videos, and by answering extra questions students may have.
He talks of the memories of his father’s service in order to motivate a younger generation to not let any challenges in life stop them from following their dreams.
“Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things. It also teaches us that whether you think you can accomplish something or think you can’t, you’re quite probably correct. And anytime, anybody achieves success, it proves anyone can achieve success,” added Baugh.
Louisa County Public Schools is happy to give Baugh a platform to inspire the younger generations, like the middle school students who attended this presentation.
“When you have students exiting the program here, saying ‘Wow, that was so inspiring,’ when you hear middle school students talk about inspiration, it’s inspiring to you,” said Superintendent Doug Straley, of Louisa County Public Schools.
Baugh added that the stories of his father are meant not to intimidate or scare younger generations about what Tuskegee Airmen faced, but to show the progress that our country has made since that time.
“Our mission statement is to perpetuate the legacy, keep the history of the brave men and women who fought for a double victory, fighting an enemy overseas and fighting racism, bigotry back here in the United States. Also, we want to inspire youth to be all they can be,” he said.