Thunderbirds bring ‘America Strong’ message to San Antonio with a roar

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Area residents gathered on bridges, balconies and rooftops Wednesday afternoon to see the Air Force Thunderbirds roar over San Antonio with the message “America Strong.”

Mark E. Ruiz and family members took photos from an apartment balcony as the 6 F-16 Fighter Falcons flew in formation over downtown San Antonio.

Thunderbirds in San Antonio-May 13, 2020/Photo-Courtesy of Mark E. Ruiz


The flyover was to honor healthcare workers, first responders and others on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19.


Thunderbirds in San Antonio, May 13,2020/Photo-Courtesy of Grace Hernandez


Tiffanie Cuellar, an emergency room physician assistant, was surrounded by family  members in the parking lot of Kitty Hawk Middle School near Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

“They just literally flew right over our heads, so it was an awesome sight,” Cuellar said. “I’m very grateful and thankful to them for  paying tribute to healthcare workers.”

Scott Fitzgerald retired from the Air Force and currently works for the Army.

“To see that military pride flyover shows that the United States can stand as one,” said Fitzgerald. “Look at how many people came out here, keeping their social distancing and doing everything the way it’s supposed to be done in these times, yet everybody enjoying the same pride in what’s going on.”

Although the flight over Kitty Hawk Middle School lasted about 30 seconds, Fitzgerald’s daughter, Kenslee, said she enjoyed it.

“They flew over so fast and its was really cool,” she said.

Veronica Ulrich and her children were enjoying the shade from a beach umbrella they set up in the parking lot next to their vehicle.

“It’s such a  positive impact, especially in this crazy time that we’re living in.  Plus, it gives the kids something to look forward to and it’s exciting to them and it’s not everyday that the Thunderbirds come to San Antonio.”

Roberta Whitley, Veronica Ulrich and her children wait for the Thunderbirds at Kitty Hawk Middle School, May 13,2020/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz


Roberta Whitley was grateful that the Air Force chose San Antonio as one of the Thunderbirds’  America Strong  flyovers.

“It just gives everybody high spirits and hope,” she said.

Thunderbirds in San Antonio, May 13, 2020/Photo-Courtesy of Michele Perry




More about: