Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Carter is ready for deployment. More than 60 years after his World War Two tour with the pioneering black pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen, Carter's new mission will be shorter, though no less courageous.
Carter is one of seven aging Tuskegee Airmen who traveled to Balad, Iraq over the weekend. Balad has been ravaged by roadside bombs and insurgent activity.
Carter says the Tuskegee Airmen are going to Iraq to inspire a younger generation of airmen who carry on the traditions of the storied 332nd Fighter Group.
Carter, who is 86 years old, says it doesn't hurt to have someone who can empathize with them and offer them encouragement.
The three-day visit was put together by officials with the U-S- Central Air Forces to link the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen with a new generation.