When it comes to celebrating our veterans, there’s not a singular focus here in the Hill Country, but there certainly is widespread enthusiasm and support here for those who have served.
On Monday, there were ceremonies at Our Lady of the Hills High School, Tivy High School, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and at a senior care center in Ingram. In addition, there were other events over the weekend that honored those veterans, including at the VA hospital here in Kerrville. On Saturday night, there was a gala at the Hill Country Youth Event Center honoring Wounded Warriors and the work that organization does to support veterans who have suffered physically and emotionally.
Certainly, we can never forget the important contributions of these men and women — there are more than 2,000 or 12% of the population — to serve and protect this country through the years. We are still blessed to have men and women who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, along with those who have served in the Middle East.
It’s great that so many take the time to honor those who served, and who do not forget the sacrifices made by those in the service of our country.
MISS: The economic fallout from Mooney Aircraft
It’s never a good sign when an employer has to make drastic cuts in order to save a business, and that’s what is happening in front of the holidays at Mooney Aircraft. Last week, the Kerrville-based company announced that it was furloughing its employees.
While Kerrville economic officials, including the Chamber of Commerce, are hopeful that the business will return, it has become increasingly clear that the company has been struggling for some time. In the first quarter of this year, Mooney sold two airplanes — accounting for about $1.6 million in revenue.
Mooney’s struggles have been well documented through the years, and from 2010 through 2014, the company sold just three airplanes. Since 2014, Mooney has sold 42 planes. In the height of its recent production capabilities, from 2001 to 2008, the company saw years when it sold as many as 100 airplanes in a year.
However, those days appear to be gone, especially for single-engine airplanes, and that’s too bad. It’s too bad because these planes were respected and well loved. More importantly, this puts a lot of people out of work at a time when we should be celebrating a year of hard work and a job well done. So, if you know a Mooney employee, make sure to treat them with kindness.
HIT: Tivy gets a boost from the Kerrville Public School Foundation
While the aeronautical industry has its ups and downs, we are still rightfully training young people for careers in the aerospace and flight industries. Tivy High School already has four top-notch flight trainers developed by Austin-based RedBird, which try to give students a hands-on lesson on flying, but the program was paid for with a donation from the Kerrville Public School Foundation.
With more than $50,000 in funding, Tivy students will get a remarkable learning opportunity that puts the school in the top tier of flight training. Each simulator runs about $10,000, along with technical support, that will give students the opportunity to fly in various conditions, planes and airports. It’s a spectacular tool. Quite frankly, we want to go learn to fly at Tivy.
However, this is the kind of public-private work that we need to enhance the educational opportunities for our students, and we salute the KPSF for making it happen.