when I was growing up, I grew up with Carswell Air Force Base in my back yard. It was a Strategic Air Command base in its day; sadly it was one of the bases Clinton decommissioned and it is now the Carswell Joint Reserve Base.
When it was an active SAC base during the Cold War, dozens of B-52s literally blanketed the tarmac, nukes strapped to their bellies, waiting at a moment's notice to be deployed.
I met my best friend our senior year of high school, when her father retired from the air force and they moved here to Ft Worth from Omaha, Nebraska. They had base privileges of course and there was one time Susan and I were on base and they went into a lock down and we weren't allowed to leave. We had no way of knowing if it was a drill or the real thing. We were a little unnerved, as no one would really tell us anything. It turned out to be a drill...but still.
Years later, the base is not what it once was. Base housing has all gone, replaced by a fancy apartment complex and retail. The officer's housing is now a golf course.
The tarmac where the B-52s once sat, pregnant with their nuclear payload is now home to a WalMart (one I shop at frequently).
I remember when they aired the made for TV movie, The Day After, about nukes being launched due to the Cold War and it scared the shit out of me...I also remember going to see the theatrical film, Red Dawn - that was an experience, as when the group of kids meets Powers Boothe, a downed jet pilot and ask him what he did, he responds "I'm an Eagle driver." - man, the entire theatre I was in went nuts - as it was packed with people who worked the line at what was then General Dynamics, who manufactured the F-16.
So - we share a similar spectre over our lives...one that I'm not entirely sure is gone.
Aeroplane Poems 2 By Nick Armbrister