Flying into a Middle East airport, my co-pilot and I reviewed our flight plan for the trip back to the USS Enterprise. We were to pick up a Navy captain, and experience had taught me that even seasoned vets turn white-knuckled during carrier landings.
Once the captain was strapped in, I turned around to welcome him aboard. "Sir," I asked, "will this be your first carrier landing?"
Looking at me with disdain, he opened his inflatable vest to display gold wings above five rows of ribbons. "Son," he said, "I have over 500 carrier landings in jet fighters."
"That's good to hear," my co-pilot said, winking at me, "because this will be our first."