The 9th Annual Friends of Scouting Luncheon will take place at the Chattanooga Convention Center on Feb. 27 at 11:30 a.m. The event is the premiere fundraising benefit to provide programs, camps and services to over 6,600 youth in Hamilton, Bradley, Polk, Marion, Sequatchie, Grundy, Bledsoe, Rhea, Walker, Catoosa and Dade Counties.
The guest speaker is Colonel (retired) Mark W. Tillman. He served as the 12th presidential pilot and commander of Air Force One, the flying Oval Office, from 2001-2009.
Col. Tillman was at the controls of Air Force One through numerous national events. Most notably, he protected the President on Sept. 11, 2001 by keeping him out of harm’s way and connecting the flying oval office to the nation’s first responders.
Another historic event was being the first pilot to fly the Commander-in-Chief into an active war zone. The challenge was unprecedented -- transport the most targeted man in the world into the heart of terrorism. One mistake would have left the President open to attack and cost the lives of U.S. service members. Col. Tillman personally orchestrated and executed the covert operation with flawless success. His planning, done in complete secrecy, allowed for a complete surprise to the entire world.
Col. Tillman’s distinguished career spans 30 years in the United States Air Force. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 2004.
A man devoted to serving his country, he will give a first-hand account of moments in history.