Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Leroy's History


leroy.jpg I'm not too sure where to start but guess I should thank all those people who's help and aid has got me through the last 50 years. I will start with my parents.

They went through the great depression and the dust bowl days of the rural midwest and knew how much hard work and staying with what needed to be done counted.

Next are the number one people in the world to me, my wife, Karen and our son Brian. Karen was my high school sweetheart and my sweetheart today. She waited four years so I could graduate from the academy and then waited 6 and a half years for my return from Viet Nam. She's always there and a real keeper, she still waits on me today. I missed 6 and 1/2 years of Brian's childhood but am so proud of him today.

Next I want to thank a language department Col. who told me after a final exam that there was probably a place in the AF for a Lt. who couldn't speak Spanish. There were the IPs at Craig AFB who taught a farm boy from Kansas who before had only driven cars, trucks and Farmall tractors how to fly airplanes.

I thank the cell mates and SROs in the North Viet Nam camps for the help and encouragement they gave me to stay committed to our group's motto of "Return With Honor".

Next a Commendant of Cadets who gave me the opportunity as a senior captain with only two years real AF experience to fill some really great jobs. After that there were a host of Wing Commanders who hired me and let me progress.

I can't forget the hundreds of young airmen and senior NCOs who kept me out of trouble on flight lines around the world. My 30 years of active duty were super. There were some low times but the highs more than made up for them.

Here they are, the ups and downs.

UPT, Craig AFB, AL

RF-4C checkout and 9th TRS, Shaw AFB, SC

Combat Ops, 11th TRS, Udorn RTAB, Thailand

POW,4th Allied POW Wing, North Viet Nam

1st Group Exec, 2nd Cadet Sq AOC, Commandant's Exec for Honor and Ethics, USAFA, CO

Air Command and Staff College, Mawell AFB, AL

Aircraft Maintenance Officer School, Chanute AFB, IL

OIC 61st AMU, Maintenace Supervisor, Commander 56th AGS, MacDill AFB, FL

Asst Deputy for Maintenacec, 56th TTW, MacDill AFB, FL

Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL

Deputy for Maintenance, 56th TTW, MacDill AFB, FL

Deputy for Maintenance, 552nd AWACS, Tinker AFB, OK

Vice Commander 3330th Tech Training Wing, Commander 3360th Tech Training Group, Commander 3330th Tech Training Wing, Chanute AFB, IL

Retired Oklahoma City, OK


I can't close this without passing on some advice. As a Lt at Shaw AFB, our squadron 1st Sgt and I were walking from the parking lot to our squadron building. It was raining and a young airman was walking toward us. He had his hands in the pockets of his raincoat and a cigarette in his mouth. I was thinking, he isn't going to salute, and what should I do.

It happened so fast I didn't do anything. There was a small explosion next to me as the 1st Sgt put a rather difficult training program on the airman.

We than went on to our squadron building and the 1st Sgt asked if I would stop by his office for a moment. I said sure and went in. He sat down behind his desk and asked me to shut the door. After the door shut the training program for the airman was nothing compared to the one I received. The last words of that training program were, "just remember every time you see something that is wrong and just walk on by without doing anything, you are saying, that's OK in my Air Force".

Those words have stayed with me for the rest of my career and I have carried them over into the civilian world too. Hope you all will try and live by those words also so we can make a better Air Force and a better world for all of us to live in now.
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