Former Minnesota Vikings All-Pro linebacker Matt Blair, a 2008 candidate for induction into the Football Hall of Fame and a successful entrepreneur, has become involved in the Red Tail Project.
Blair, who owns Matt Blair’s Celebrity Promotions, Inc., says he plans to “help raise awareness, build momentum, and get information out about the Red Tail Project and its mission to tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen and inspire young people to succeed.”
Blair will coordinate a Minneapolis-St. Paul area banquet in February, to be held in conjunction with the PBS premier of “Red Tail Reborn,” a new documentary about the Tuskegee Airmen and the Red Tail Project.
“You hear the stories of how the Tuskegee Airmen overcame adversity to be allowed to fight in World War II and worked to achieve their goals,” Blair said. “It’s a phenomenal story as you see how they worked as a team trying to accomplish goals. Their legacy has to live on. However you look at it, it’s really something how, step by step, they achieved what they did.”
The Red Tail Project is dedicated to ensuring that the history and accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen are taught widely, focusing on educating young people about the example the Airmen set. The Red Tail Project plans to build a traveling museum to appear at air shows and travel to schools and shopping malls. It will carry exhibits about the Tuskegee Airmen, their wartime bravery, their postwar efforts against segregation, and the lessons they still teach about overcoming obstacles and meeting goals.
The Red Tail Project also is restoring a rare P51-C Mustang, the fighter identified with the Tuskegee Airmen. When restored, the plane will appear at air shows across the country, according to officials with the organization.
Blair said he is looking forward to helping with that mission.
“The goal of the February event is to raise money for the Red Tail Project’s educational initiatives,” he said. “The traveling museum will educate students about a part of American history that is not included in school textbooks, and the airplane is a symbol of the Tuskegee Airmen’s past, of what gave them their strength and put them into conquering the mission they set out to do. These guys are heroes and we can’t forget them.”
Blair has been supportive of current military operations as well, traveling with NFL USO tours to meet and interact with U.S. troops. As an NFL alumnus he has continued to meet with troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Red Tail Project is sponsored by the Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force.