You Don’t Leave Your Wing Man

There were a lot of lessons to be learned in the 1980’s. You don’t fall for the banana in the tailpipe, you don’t put baby in the corner, and you don’t mess with the bull, young man, or you might get the horns. And you never, never leave your wing man.

The traditional military definition of a wing man is a pilot flying at the right wing or slightly behind another aircraft, watching his rear and blind spots. Single men on the prowl co-opted the term to describe a friend lending support in approaching a female. The wing man’s job is to talk up the primary hunter and to provide distraction for any other women in the group.

In both of these definitions the wing man is slightly subservient, more of a sidekick or role player. I’ve never thought of it that way. To me your wing man is an equal partner, both watching your back but also trusting you with theirs. Pushing you to try harder and achieve more, but also a voice of caution and restraint. More Jake and Elwood then Cameron and Ferris.

This past week one of my original wing men was on a fishing trip in  Canada with one of his daughters and drove a fair distance out of his way on the return trip to Fort Bragg to spend an afternoon and evening with my family on our vacation in New Jersey. We haven’t seen each other more than a half dozen times in the past decade, but this is still a guy that I know would drop anything, at any time, if I needed him to. I’d do the same for him.



His daughter seemed well suited to the role also. There are several large rides on the pier that Kayla enjoyed experiencing, but probably couldn’t have been persuaded to go on by either her mom or I. The Skyscraper is a wind mill type thing that spins 170 feet into the air at speeds up to 80 mph. The Skycoaster raised the kids 109 feet up and then dropped them, ultimately leading to a swing out over the ocean at 70 mph.  I’ve been on similar rides before and can tell you that most people don’t go without a buddy.





The best wing men are the ones you don’t have too look far to find. It’s how I always viewed my parents and it’s how I hope my wife and children will always view me. I’ll promise to never feed them after midnight, to never call them Shirley, and most important, to always have their six.


me and dev






30 thoughts on “You Don’t Leave Your Wing Man”

  1. My friends and I lived by this when we went out drinking,you never left your mate no matter what.Even if Brad Pitt had walked in,I’d have stayed with my mate!That Skycoaster looks terrifying! #justanotherlinky

  2. What a great post – I really enjoyed reading this. Your friend sounds fantastic 🙂 I have to say that I really can’t do rides any more. We went on loads whilst on holiday and I am afraid to say that my body went into shock afterwards! Thank goodness for my OH who was my wing man that evening 🙂 Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

  3. I love this post! While I don’t use the words you use “I got your six”, I tell my boys all the time that I’m always there for them and that I will always have their backs. I have two friends and my sister who are there for me and I’m there for them. I still remember having one my friends’ backs back in our clubbin’ days! She can’t hold her liquor so I was always looking out for her and always the designated driver. She has always been grateful for those times though. Your post reminded me of that! Thanks for sharing! Visiting from #anythinggoes

  4. Couldn’t agree more! You never ditch your true friends, whether on a night out or when they need you for something more serious. Loved the 80s movie references too 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

    1. There are some people that are always there. I just saw something on The Good Men Project about why you shouldn’t really marry your best friend. Ridiculous. This is why you should.

  5. Great post. Had to laugh at the Dirty Dancing reference. I love theme park rides. Can’t wait to see if the boys will be up for joining me. Considering Baby Bear already likes being thrown on the sofa from as high as is possible without him bouncing right off and likes to be pushed as high as possible on the swings (at the grand age of a year and a half) I reckon I’ll have a good theme park wing man there. Tyger is…more anxious so we’ll see!


  6. A wing man is certainly important, you always need someone to trust! However, as I love roller coasters and rides like these and have been known to go on them alone if I can’t find a willing partner!!
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  7. I love this post. It’s so amazing when you have a wingman, that no matter how long it’s been, when you meet up they’re still there for you and you can pick up right where you left off. I’m glad you guys managed to hang out.

    I could not go on this ride. You are so much braver than me. It sounds absolutely terrifying. Thank you for linking this post to #whatevertheweather x

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