KADENA AIR BASE, Japan — George Guss watched his brother, Tyler, follow in their father’s footsteps by becoming a pilot in the United States Air Force. After hitting a crossroads while attending the University of Georgia, he decided he wanted to take flight too. Together the brothers have progressed in their racing careers, but the distance between them has grown steadily, until recently.
Although both brothers are pilots, Tyler serves in the Georgia National Guard at Robins Air Force Base as an E-8C JSTARS aircraft commander, and George is on active duty stationed at Kadena Air Base, Japan, as as an F-15C pilot. Tyler joined his brother in Okinawa due to a training exercise taking place in Kadena during the summer months.
“I was super excited when I found out my brother was deployed to Kadena,” George said. “Due to COVID restrictions, my wife and I weren’t able to share Okinawa with any of our family members, so having an opportunity for my brother to come here was very exciting.”
It had been nearly a year and a half since the two had seen each other, but once reunited, they quickly began to make the most of their time together in Okinawa.
“We were able to snorkel, fish on a charter boat, eat at local restaurants and cook at George’s,” Tyler explained. “We also got to visit each other’s planes so that was pretty cool.”
Hailing from an Air Force family, who now serve in the military themselves, the two brothers agreed that the Air Force had impacted their outlook on what it means to be a family.
“I consider everyone in my squadron to be an extended family,” George said. “Ironically, the more I progress in my piloting, the further I become away from my family in Georgia. But the times when I can actually see my family are sweetened because I don’t take time with them for granted.
As their time together in Okinawa was coming to an end, the Gusses will soon be able to see each other again.
“We have a younger sister who is getting married in August, so George and his wife will be returning home to Georgia,” Tyler remarked.
When asked if they had any parting words, Tyler and George were quick to praise their alma mater.
“Thank you University of Georgia for putting us through school,” George said proudly. “Come on guys! »