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Air show can serve as recruiting tool for Air National Guard

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – The Smoky Mountain Air Show is just one week away. It’ll be the first time the The Blue Angels take flight over East Tennessee in 16 years.

 “It’s going to be a tremendous time and you are going to get to see world class acts in East Tennessee that you don’t get to see on a regular basis,” says Lt. Col. Lee Hartley.

Organizers say there will be at least 60,000 people each day for the air show. But, Hartley hopes some of them will leave with more than a good memory.

“Maybe something will sit well with them and they’ll decide they want to be a part of something that’s bigger than they are,” he says.

Air shows can serve as great recruiting tools, not just for the the performing acts like the Blue Angels, but also for the hosts.

“Many of our enlistees have joined as a result of an air show. Our recruiters will be outside ready and able to talk to them to see if they are ready to take that next step,” says Maj. Travers Hurst.

After next weekend, the show will be over. But Hartley hopes the show’s end will inspire many new beginnings.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity not only to show a piece of aviation that the 134th and McGhee Tyson have, but also how they can contribute. One thing we do need is great people and one thing that East Tennessee has is great people,” says Hartley.

For information on the air show, including parking, visit this link: https://smokymountainairshow.com/

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