Posted: Mar 19, 2010 1:53 pm
by LarianLeQuella
1) What were/are the details of your service? Location? Specifics?I served 20 years in the Air Force. let's see if I can recall all my duty assignments:
1989-1993: Wright patterson AFB, OH. Operations Research Analyst and Staff protocol Officer
1993-1994: Laughlin AFB, TX. Student Pilot and Class Leader
1994-2000: McConnell AFB, KS. KC-135 Pilot (Receiver Qualified Instructor Pilot, Chief of Plans and Mobility, Stan Eval officer, Chief of Security, Flight Commander)
2000-2003: Offutt AFB, NE. C-21A Pilot (Assistant Operations Officer, Chief of Stndardization and Evaluation)
2003-2006: Eglin AFB, FL. Subscale Aerial Targets IPT Lead, Aerial Targets Director of Operations
2006-2007: Osan AB, South Korea. 7th AF Chief of Training, Deputy A-3, Defense readness Reporting System Program manager
2007-2009: Eglin AFB, FL. Capabilities Integration Program Manager

Of course, in all that time, I did numerous extended TDYs to places like Southern France, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Northern Italy, and various locations throught the US.

2) Why did you serve/are you serving?
Well, the PRIMARY motivation I had to serve was the full tuition ROTC scholarship to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. If it wasn't for the scholarship, I would have ended up at the Spruce Head Institute of Technology! :tongue: Once I got on active duty, I enjoyed the security of having a steady job, and it gave me a sense of satisfaction to do work that was seen as having serving the public good. Also, who can argue with getting paid to fly airplanes? Once I got into pilot trianing, the comittments for accepting that training put me at serving until I had been in for almost 14 years. Of course, at that point, another 6 years for wonderful benefits is sort of a no brainer!

One of the BEST jobs I had was developing and refining NON-lethal weapons. I felt that it was a paradigm shift that needed to happen, and will serve us as humanity much better than other weapons we have (which still serve a purpose mind you, but that last job had some great satisfaction for me).

3) In retrospect, would you do it again? Or, for how much longer are you planning to serve?
Actually yes. While there were many hardships that I had to endure, and sacrifices that I made, it was worthwhile. Not only that, I got a great benefits package out of it, it led directly to a great post-retirement career, and it has kept my perspective much more global than it may have been had I stayed in a civilian capacity. Also, as an aviator and an officer, i think that I managed to escape the worst horros that many of our troops face. War tends to be rather clinical from 30,000 feet. And once I got up into senior ranks, I ran things from control senters and such. I am one of the few people that can say that I used PowerPoint to blow stuff up.

4) Have you had any memorable experiences, and if yes, would you mind sharing them?
Wow, after 20 years, there are so many to share. If you really want the story, why not send me PM and ask for details? The laundry list:
1.) The French pilot that tried to kill me
2.) The 4 months that I unsuccessfully searched for a bad Italina wine
3.) Negotiating for a 6 foot rosewood giraffe and paying a bottle of Absolut and a pack of Camels for it
4.) Wondering if the Big Sky theory applied to Tankers and meteors over the pacific
5.) Being the "charming drunk" at the Carnivore Club in Nairobi
6.) Being one of the rare Americans that actually went out of my way to visit a village that hadn't seen them since the last war (in both Korea and Italy)
7.) Being glad that most people don't have incendiary rounds in their small arms.
8.) Retrograde and then finding out I was "that son of a bitch"

War stories and hangar talk! Old soldiers live for that, and of course the stories get better with each telling! :lol:

5) Has your service resulted in any sort of trauma or permanent damage?
To be honest, I have always been very good at compartmentalizing in that regard. I suppose it may come from a good understanding of both human nature as well as human psychology. i do have a 30% disability rating from the VA, but I think a lot of that has to do with just getting old and beat up after 20 years.