This young captains life began in Long Beach California in 1967.Scott O’Grady has two siblings a brother and a sister, Paul and Stacy. His Father was a doctor at Long Beach Community Hospital and also a certified pilot. His mother was a house wife which is one of the hardest jobs of all. His family was very patriotic. Scott was an average student throughout his years in school.
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Even though he was average he had a very strong will to succeed. Being that his father was successful in his career he had very high expectations for his three children, but also spent time entertaining them often times by taking them for rides in his Cessna 150, which is a small two seater plane. This is how Scott’s life as a pilot began when he was six years old, The first day he went with his dad he was presented with a certificate that read, ” this is to certify that Scott O’Grady has navigated the air ways and flown up to Santa Catalina’s unique Airport in the sky, which overlooks the ocean from an altitude of 1602 feet.”
By the time he was in the eighth grade he became fixated on the idea he was going to be a pilot In high school he was a kicker on the Long Beach Gators, which was his high school football team. He began as a second string player but a good friend, who was a professional kicker, helped him to improve. This along with his strong will led him to become an all star kicker. In the fall of his senior year he slaved to boost his grades. He applied for admission to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Even though his grades were good his Sat scores were low and he was rejected. He was disappointed but his goal was still to become a fighter pilot. So he enrolled in an aeronautical engineering program at the University of Washington in Seattle. He then switched his major to accounting then to business then to forestry. He joined a fraternity and was in the ROTC program. He took a short break from school then went back to live with his dad in Seattle. His dad’s friend knew of a good school, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. Scott applied and was accepted for the fall term but the Florida campus was full so it was suggested that he go to the satellite campus in Prescott Arizona. The school and the location were depressing so he put a lot of time into the ROTC program and became the vice commander of more than a hundred cadets. He graduated after accumulating high credentials. He was then accepted into the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Program at Shepherd Air Force Base in Texas from which he graduated and was now a US Air Force pilot.
After several years and much traveling around the world the Air Force stationed him in Aviano Italy in 1992. In 1995 he was briefed to enforce a no fly zone in Bosnia. At that point he was shot out of the sky. His plane was mangled, but he managed to survive the crash by ejecting out of the plane. After he landed he had to escape Bosnian storm troopers that were on the constant lookout for him. He had little water and no food. He survived off of eating ants and foliage that he found. After five days of being constantly persued he finally made radio contact with NATO who sent a rescue team to save Scott O’Grady. The thing that impressed me most about Captain Scott O’Grady is the fact that even when he was enduring the hardest parts of his life he never gave up. For example when he applied for the Air Force Academy in Colorado and was rejected he still pursued a college education.
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