Thunderbirds fly

Photo: WJLA

If you’re looking to fill your need for speed with weekend, you’re in luck. Some 200,000 people are expected to head out to the Joint Service Open House at Joint Base Andrews this weekend for a high-flying show.

Friday was reserved for members of the military and their families, school groups and special guests, about 7,000 to 8,000 people.

With ear phones only slightly larger than her cheeks, six-month-old Olivia is fully prepared to take it all in. Her parents live on base and are back for their second air show.

“It's a very sort of humbling thing to be around so many people that are willing to give up a normal style of life to serve their country and keep everybody else safe,” said Haley Mishio, who lives on the base.

The men and women of the military and their children enjoyed this private viewing of aerial acrobatics.

“It makes you want to get up there and do it yourself!” said James Thomas of District Heights.

Some of the visitors Friday were wounded warriors like Lance Cpl. Matthew Morrison, who moved around the base on clutches. In April, just three months after arriving in Afghanistan, an IED ripped his leg apart.

“I took a knee with my right leg forward and then the next thing I know I'm flying through the air and on the ground, blind,” Morrison of the Marine Corps said.

The blindness lasted two weeks. Walking the tarmac with his mother, Morrison remains optimistic despite facing a year of rehab at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

“It didn't take off all my leg. It took off part of my foot and mangled the rest,” he said of the bomb.

Lance Cpl. Matthew Morrison and his mother
Jennifer Brown visit Joint Base Andrews. (Photo: Julie Parker)

His mother Jennifer Brown embraced her time here with her son. “The reception that they get – I feel so honored,” she said. “It's unbelievable.”

The Golden Knights and the Thunderbirds will take to the sky, with Golden Knights scheduled to perform at practice flight{ }at{ }noon and{ }the Thunderbirds{ }set to demonstrate the team's first performance using alternative fuel.

On Saturday and Sunday, the gates are open to the public from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. A shuttle service will be available between Fed Ex Field and the Branch Avenue Metro station on both days.