This is about me.

Since my primary school days I have been interested in aviation and America. So it would make sense that the Americans of Soesterberg Air Base (NL) were very fascinating for me. I matriculated from grammar school and then entered university. After dropping out I became a flying member of the Amsterdam Glider Club (AVcZ) and got a pass to the base. Then I got to know many Americans. The Cold War was about to end, the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron had a lot of local Dutch fans, and there was no terrorism. So it was a great opportunity for the Americans to interact with the local Dutch society. The base was like a country club. It was a very happy time.

Aljo Wijnands

Amersfoort, NL

This is me, Aljo in 1988. The Americans saw this photo of me and dubbed me: 'Armchair-General'. Back in 1989 I walked often on Soesterberg AB, wearing a USS Ranger ballcap. President Bush had heard of me, and took a dog and called him Ranger. That was me! President Bush even said one time on CNN: "Ranger is a good dog!"

Aljo Wijnands

Amersfoort, NL
Aljo USS Ranger ballcap

This is Aljo wearing his USS Ranger ballcap.

Aljo Wijnands

Amersfoort, NL
Aljo at the aviation musum

Me, with F-15 of the 32nd at the Military Aviation Museum. (1995) After deactivation of the 32nd Fighter Squadron (USAFE).

President Bush

Pet dog Ranger
Presidemt Bush with pet

This is President Bush Senior with his dog Ranger near the ocean.

Caspar Weinberger

Secretary of Defense
Secretary Weinberger

Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger stuck out his neck for me. I remember how he visited the NATO HQs in September of 1986 and that he instructed SGT Kim Danek to make a public service announcement especially for me. Because he realized how much in love I was with Kim. The morning Secretary Weinberger passed away - a few years ago - I dreamt about Viet Nahm, that Kim had been mortally wounded and that I was just in time to kiss her goodbye. It is like that Stevie Wonder song 'I just called to say I love you'. Or Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes with 'Time of my life'. That someone so powerful can care about a foreign 20 year old student still puzzles me. 'Cap' Weinberger is a good, a very good memory.

Jim Stecker

ACvZ member
Jim Stecker

This is Jim Stecker, the American member of the ACvZ. One evening we went to Putten for Jim to buy a Dutch leather flight jacket. (1989)

Michael Galpin

US Navy Officer
Michael Galpin

This is CDR Michael 'Flex' Galpin (1996), he was a US Navy F-14 RIO. I corresponded with him in 1983 when he was a LT. He sent me this photo of a formation of 4 F-14 Tomcats of the VF-2 'Bounty Hunters' which he made. LT Galpin worked on the movie Topgun he advised the director and acted as a MiG pilot.

F-14s of VF-2

Photo by Galpin

LT Galpin made this photo. His callsign was Flex, which didn't have a thing to do with muscle flexing, but it referred to his passion for photography. He always his SLR with him when flying.

Private Benjamin

the Movie
Private Benjamin the Movie

One time I met an American Airman her name was Carol and she looked like Goldie Hawn so I asked if she had seen the movie Private Benjamin and had then decided to join the American military.