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Miramar Air Show Inspiring Next Generation of Aviators

Evening Edition

The largest military air show in the country is underway tonight at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. About half a million people are expected to watch the three-day show. It runs through Sunday and features the Blue Angles and hundreds of other aircraft and military personnel.

The clouds and wet weather are moving out of San Diego just in time for the Miramar Air Show weekend. Plan to get to the air show as early as you can, says Marine Lt. Col. Stefan Maroudis.

"We have more than enough stuff that you can see and do in a day, in fact you could probably come the entire weekend and not see everything fully," Maroudis said.

He says it's more than just flying acrobatics and a show of military might. The Miramar Air Show is also about recruiting the next generation of aviators and showing the public how their tax dollars are being spent.

"We have aircraft, we have ground vehicles, all kinds of military equipment and standing in front are the Marines who operate that equipment. We love interacting with the crowd, especially when a child will come up to you with big eyes and ask if you're a pilot, you can just see the joy on their face because they're so excited to meet you," Maroudis said.

Maroudis is a heavy lift aircraft pilot whose job is to transfer humvees and large artillery pieces on the field of battle. He's been a Marine for 17 years and says as a kid he was always interested in flying like the Blue Angels.

"I was big into models as a kid, my father was in the Signal Corps, so that was part of my interest as well," Maroudis said.

The theme of this year's show is "Marines in Flight: Celebrating 50 years of Space Exploration," because Marine Col. John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the earth in 1962. The gates open at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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