I had the fortunate opportunity to spend some time with the son of Col. Joseph Christiano, an AC-47D pilot during Vietnam. Jeff Christiano, the Colonel’s son, grew up anticipating his father’s return and now, 45 years later, his dad is home.

Jeff is a great man, father, and son who wins hearts and minds of inner city kids through his powerful personality, incredible humor, and passion for cooking. Jeff is a remarkable guy who has waited for his dad and now finally buried him at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Col. Christiano flew what today is the most powerful weapon in Special Operations arsenal.

Today, the AC-47D has evolved into a fierce black AC-130 gunship laying waste to all those in its orbit. There is noting better to have flying above you, covering you, looking out for you – and of course – destroying anything that comes near you. Jeff – your father is still orbiting, looking down on you, and covering your every move. This article is dedicated to Jeff and his family.

Never Forget – Never Forgotten!

Read more how six heroic airmen lost their lives at ABC News.

(Picture Credit: Aviation Artist Mike Machat)