Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Former shuttle pilot returns to Lineville

Joe Edwards shows off his 1955 T28B, a former Navy plane, Tuesday. Photo: Andy Johns/The Anniston Star

LINEVILLE — Ask any group of Clay County students who would like to be an astronaut when they grow up and immediately hands rocket into the air.

The response is probably not any different than most schools across the country except that the students in Clay County know it can be done. One of them has done it.

Former space shuttle pilot and 1976 Lineville High School graduate Joe Edwards, Jr. returned to Alabama this week to speak at the Clay County Chamber of Commerce banquet and meet with school children. That confidence is exactly what Edwards said he hopes to inspire in the students.

"It's an example that math and science and a good education can build a good life for you and your family," Edwards said, between photo ops and speeches Tuesday at the Lineville-Ashland Airport. He spoke to groups from schools all across Clay County for much of Tuesday before speaking at the Clay County Chamber of Commerce Banquet in the evening.

Being a decorated pilot is more than just a job, he said.

"When we're flying planes off of a carrier or flying the shuttle in space we're thinking about what good we are doing for our country and humanity," he said.

See the full story here and check out more photos from the event here.

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