George Hardy- Sarasota, Florida
Lieutenant Colonel George Hardy, at age 95, is a motivational speaker and historical educator representing the World War II, African-American pilots, known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
For over 75 years, Lt. Col. Hardy has proven his worthiness. He is grateful for being given the opportunity to serve and fight for the United States of America. In his distinguished, more than 28-year military career, Hardy flew 136 combat missions in three wars: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
On a weekly basis, Lt. Col. Hardy is invited to speak to veterans, reservists and ROTC cadets at military bases, Veteran of Foreign War and American Legion Posts and universities. He is invited to speak on major service holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. Hardy is interviewed regularly by local, statewide and national newspapers and radio and television stations to discuss, promote and advocate for veteran issues.
Lt. Col. Hardy is an active member and provides support to both the 19th Bombardment Group Association and the AC 119 Gunship Association and Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. In addition, he actively participates in the VFW organization in Florida and nationally. He counsels and provides guidance individually to veterans and their families and participates in memorial services at the National Cemeteries.
In January 2020, Lt. Col. Hardy helped a student develop a display for the Red Tail Squadron's P- 51 Mustang Exhibit. This award-winning display is scheduled to be at the July 2020 Air Venture Red Tail Exhibit in Dallas and will be on permanent display in the National Air Base Rise Above Red Tail Traveling Exhibit mobile theater.
In November 2019, Lt. Col. Hardy updated information for his Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Included in his personal narratives collection, is a spell binding, 47-minute, living history video of Hardy at age 83, where he provides details about his remarkable service as a Tuskegee Airman and the challenges he overcame.
On Jan. 18, 2019, Lt. Col. Hardy brought his inspirational WWII story to FAMU ROTC Cadets, veterans, and the community, where he received a standing ovation. This presentation led to a life story video project, Kings of Freedom," honoring Lt. Col. Hardy and his life lessons. Premiers are planned in Tallahassee at FSU, FAMU and TCC in 2020.
In October 2018, Lt. Col. Hardy participated as a panelist in the Punta Gorda, Florida, International Air Show featuring the Commemorative Air Forces Red Tail Rise above Exhibit which showcased a P-SlC Red Tail Mustang, like the one he flew in WWII.
CAF Red Tail Squadron's RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit, Oshkosh, Wisconsin & Tallahassee
On July 28, 2018, Lt. Col George Hardy (93) and Col. (BG) Charles McGee (98), attended the EAA Air Venture 2018 at Wittman Regional airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. They gave children the history of the Tuskegee Airmen and how they overcame discrimination. He also participated with the CAF Red Tail Squadron's RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit in Tallahassee