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Bong Center hosts poetic pilot

The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center hosts former F-16 fighter pilot, Eric Chandler, who will present readings from his newest book, "Hugging this Rock."

In a new collection of poetry about life and war as a pilot, parent and outdoor sports enthusiast, Northeastern Minnesota author Eric "Shmo" Chandler is sure to deliver laughs and love — of family, of country and of navigating one's place in the world, according to Hayes Scriven, Bong Center director. Chandler is a two-time winner of the Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Writing Award administered by the online literary journal, Line of Advance. He is a member of the Lake Superior Writers organization, the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Military Writers Guild.

A 1989 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Chandler retired after a 24-year military flying career with the U.S. Air Force and the Minnesota Air National Guard. He is a veteran with three deployments to Saudi Arabia for Operation Southern Watch; three deployments to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom; and one to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. He flew over 3,000 hours and 145 combat sorties in the F-16.

Copies of Hugging This Rock are on sale now at the center's gift shop.

The program takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior. Refreshments served.