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‘Pilot for a Day’ joins 4th Airlift Squadron

Josh Loux, 14, laughs with friends and family after detonating an explosive device during a demonstration provided by the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance disposal unit as part of the ‘Pilot for a Day’ program March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.  “The explosion was the best part,” said Josh.  “It’s cool.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Josh Loux, 14, laughs with friends and family after detonating an explosive device during a demonstration provided by the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance disposal unit as part of the ‘Pilot for a Day’ program March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. “The explosion was the best part,” said Josh. “It’s cool.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Josh Loux, 14, holds an inactive anti-tank landmine during an explosive ordnance display provided by the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance disposal unit as part of the ‘Pilot for a Day’ program March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Josh Loux, 14, holds an inactive anti-tank landmine during an explosive ordnance display provided by the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance disposal unit as part of the ‘Pilot for a Day’ program March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Josh Loux, 14, operates a robot with the help of Airman 1st Class Evan Grimme, 627th Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance disposal unit, as part of the ‘Pilot for a Day’ program March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Josh Loux, 14, operates a robot with the help of Airman 1st Class Evan Grimme, 627th Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance disposal unit, as part of the ‘Pilot for a Day’ program March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Master Sgt. Tracy Truman, 62nd Operations Support Squadron, demonstrates to 14-year-old ‘Pilot for a Day’ Josh Loux and his friend, Mac Davis, how a light-gun operates during a tour of the McChord Field control tower March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Master Sgt. Tracy Truman, 62nd Operations Support Squadron, demonstrates to 14-year-old ‘Pilot for a Day’ Josh Loux and his friend, Mac Davis, how a light-gun operates during a tour of the McChord Field control tower March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

14-year-old ‘Pilot for a Day’ Josh Loux received a ride in a fire truck March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

14-year-old ‘Pilot for a Day’ Josh Loux received a ride in a fire truck March 18, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Airmen at the 4th Airlift Squadron provide a simulated mission briefing for 14-year-old ‘Pilot for a Day’ Josh Loux, along with his family and friends, March 18, 2011 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Operation Knucklebuster, a baseball themed briefing, brought a smile to his face. (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

Airmen at the 4th Airlift Squadron provide a simulated mission briefing for 14-year-old ‘Pilot for a Day’ Josh Loux, along with his family and friends, March 18, 2011 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Operation Knucklebuster, a baseball themed briefing, brought a smile to his face. (U.S. Air Force photo/Adamarie Lewis-Page)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- When the newest member of Team McChord was asked what was the best part of his Pilot for a Day experience, his response was "the explosion."

The 4th Airlift Squadron hosted Pilot for a Day, 14-year-old, Josh Loux, March 18.

"These types of events are fun," said Capt. Raegan McDowell, 4th AS pilot and Pilot for a Day coordinator. "We strive to make this a special day for Josh and his family, and look forward to showing him 'Airlift Excellence' first hand."

Pilot for a Day is an Air Force program that enables challenged youth a chance to visit an Air Force squadron, becoming part of the team in the process. The participants are usually selected through a partnership with a community hospital or foster program.

Josh was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults.

Joined by his mother, father, brother, sister and two friends, the group started the day with an explosive ordnance disposal demonstration.

"You want me to yell loud? Really loud? Really, really loud?" said Josh. "Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!"

The group also got a chance to tour the fire station, sit in the pilot seat of a C-17 Globemaster III and "fly" in an aircraft simulator.

The Gig Harbor, Wash., teen is home schooled and his family is part of the Harper Christian Home School Co-op.

"We are very grateful to the kids and families of the Co-op," said Mrs. Deedee Loux, Josh's mother. "Everyone has treated him like any other kid."

Josh's friends, Mac and Cole, also had a good time touring McChord Field, playing foosball in the 4th AS Heritage room and laughing together.

"Josh was very appreciative, he had lots of fun," said Captain McDowell.