Proud Air Force Academy grad Kevin Leinbach sat among the crowd in the field behind the Western Museum of Mining in Colorado Springs.
“Getting to throw my hat up on graduation day was the best day of my life,” Leinbach said.
Now, the former Air Force pilot finally got the chance to watch the Thunderbirds for the first time since he graduated, back in 1976.
“[I] don’t have to be at work and I can be here to watch the Thunderbirds. Really looking forward to seeing some F16’s up close, making a lot of noise,” Leinbach added with a smile.
Many other families also gathering with lawn chairs and lunch in hand.
“We’re just here to support the Air Force Graduation and just enjoying the weather and nice breeze,” said Maria Dornbush, here with her two sons.
Once the Thunderbirds took off, all eyes were fixed on the sky.
“It was cooler than I thought,” said Ricky Feldman, one of the many children brought out by family members.
And despite not getting the stadium view this time around, Leinbach was still grateful to watch the show once more.
“I wish we were closer so it was louder,” he said.
“But it was good to see them.”