So, my ex-stepson Lt. Colonel Josh Wika took command of the 175th Fighter Squadron at Joe Foss Field, March 2, 2019. He's the short guy holding South Dakota's flag in the photo.
In the late 80s when he was a sophomore at Spearditch High School he watched Top Gun over and over on a VCR then during the Sturgis Rally that year a guy was giving rides in an ultralight so I bought him a flight. The pilot normally just did a little oval over the Redwater River but he let Josh have the stick and the kid fell in love with flying.
But during his junior year Josh sustained a knee injury during a game of American football that required orthopedic surgery and disqualified him from flying for the Air Force. After a couple of semesters at the University of Wyoming and my divorce from his mother he transferred to the University of North Dakota's Department of Aviation, graduated and joined the South Dakota Air National Guard at the 114th Fighter Wing in Sioux Falls where he flew F-16s during the second Gulf War.
In 2015 I ran into his dad at my youngest daughter's track meet at Black Hills State University in Spearditch also where my older daughter was enrolled. He said Josh will retire after he makes full Colonel.
Confirmed that the F-16 crash tonight was a plane from the 114th Fighter Wing in Sioux Falls:https://t.co/1aQcn5vdVT— Jonathan Ellis (@argusjellis) May 17, 2019