I have many great memories of my years at LT. I especially remember times with my best friends: Randy Marsh, Tedd Carlson, Rich Klemme, Bill Kloetzli, Dave Olson, Jim Watson, and others. I remember our many trips to the Corral and the fun of going to basketball and football games. We were not good enough for varsity sports, but we did put together an intramural basketball team. I especially remember one of our games in which we lost 120 to 12. Bad as that sounds, it was even worse: all 12 of our points were made by Tedd after he was able to join us for the second half of the game. Okay, great athletes we were not. But we were able to laugh about it even then.
We were blessed to have several wonderful, dedicated teachers at LT. The one who had the greatest impact on me was Ms. Eileen Powers; I was her student in English III and IV. She inspired many of us with her enthusiasm and her love of English, her firm but respectful classroom management, and her kind interest in us. Ms. Powers really believed in her students in a way that brought out the best in us. She saw potential in me and helped me see it, too. I know Ms. Powers made a difference in the lives of many others in the same way she did in mine, giving us confidence and inspiration at a time when we most needed it. Thanks, Ms. Powers!
After I graduated from LT in 1963, I went to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. I was president of my fraternity there (Delta Sigma Phi) and worked a bit on the student newspaper when Roger Ebert was the editor. I earned a degree in political science in 1967 and a commission in the Air Force. I spent a year in pilot training in Del Rio, Texas; while I was there, Jimmy Stewart presented the wings to one of the classes—he was in town making a movie with Dean Martin and Raquel Welch. After pilot training I went to Vietnam and flew 323 combat missions in an O-2B aircraft with the 9th Special Operations Squadron (we dropped leaflets and made airborne loudspeaker broadcasts). After Vietnam, I became a C-141/ Starlifter pilot (a C-141 is a four-engine jet cargo plane) assigned to the 20th Military Airlift Squadron at Dover AFB, Delaware. We flew missions all over the world and also sometimes supported the White House by carrying the President’s limousine, communications van, and various staffers. Once I carried President Nixon’s dogs, Pasha and King Timahoe, to Florida—they were probably the highest ranking VIPs I ever carried!
While stationed at Dover AFB, I met my wife, Eve. She’s from Nashville, Tennessee. Marrying her in 1971 has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and we’ve had a great life. As part of my certification by the Air Force as a Far East Area Specialist, I earned an M.A. in Asian Studies from Florida State University in 1975. Our daughter, Kristin, was born while I was in school in Tallahassee. Later I had assignments in Colorado, Hawaii, and Oklahoma.
I left active duty and went into the Air Force Reserve in 1980 when I began a civilian career with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Washington, DC. I retired from the Air Force Reserve as a colonel in 1998 and from DIA in 2000. Then I worked for The Aerospace Corporation supporting the National Reconnaissance Office (“spy satellites”) until 2007. Since then, I’ve been fully retired and loving every minute! Eve is retired from her job as a pre-school teacher, too. We live in Burke, Virginia, a Washington, DC, suburb. We’ve been keeping busy with travel and lots of volunteer work at our church. Our daughter, Kristin, has grown up to be a beautiful, intelligent, kind, and caring adult just like her mother. She is teacher in Fairfax County, is married, and lives nearby.
If I have one regret about my years at LT, it’s that I was too shy to let the “real me” show through. I think I was a good and kind person back then, but I wish now I had been more open and friendly with others, especially with those who, like me, were on the fringe of things. I wish I had been more appreciative and encouraging, helping others to see their true worth and value.
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