66 U.S. VETERANS MAGAZINE WWW.USVETERANSMAGAZINE.COM
FEATURE FEATURE: COVER STORY
ention Top Gun and most everyone thinks of Tom Cruise. But did you know there's a real Top Gun program for fighter pilots? It's safe to say most naval aviators do; most civilians don't. Dan Pedersen, 86, a veteran of numerous missions in the Vietnam War, is considered the real life Godfather of Top Gun, which he likens to a graduate school for aviators. In the original Top Gun movie, those guys became the now-iconic and beloved Maverick, Ice Man, Goose and others. After three years of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-awaited sequel's Memo- rial Day release will mark 36 years since the original movie debuted. Goose and Maverick fans have been rav- enous. There's been a buzz about the movie ever since Cruise announced that it was in the works, and Val Kilmer, the original Ice Man, started promoting it. In Maverick, Cruise reprises his role as U.S. Naval aviator Pete Maverick Mitchell. The Joseph Kosinski-directed sequel also stars Kilmer, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly and Jon Hamm. One thing seems to be agreed on, how- ever: the film, featuring what Cruise calls
of Top Gun'
By Brady RhoadesPrevious Page