Air Force Reflections

Service Reflections of Lt. Col. Ryan Rowe, U.S. Air Force (1995-2021)

Service Reflections of Lt. Col. Ryan Rowe, U.S. Air Force (1995-2021)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents LT COL Ryan Rowe's legacy of his military service from 1995 to 2021. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE. Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Air Force. Cadet Rowe I had always had an interest in military things. I was the kid who never stopped playing with GI Joe's! My dad was in the Navy, and I enjoyed his stories. But, in the end, it was a personal decision based on patriotism and wanting to give back. And maybe, also looking...

read more
Service Reflections of A1C James Strickland, U.S. Air Force (1955-1960)

Service Reflections of A1C James Strickland, U.S. Air Force (1955-1960)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents A1C James Strickland's legacy of his military service from 1955 to 1960. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE. Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Air Force. Collings Foundation B-17 The first item seeing the "Memphis Belle" during its WWII bond drive, sitting on a wooden platform in front of the courthouse in Dayton, Ohio, when I was 6 years old. The second item, late fall 1943 or early spring 1944, was standing in the middle of...

read more
Service Reflections of CMSGT Bruce Hanke, U.S. Air Force (1967-2004)

Service Reflections of CMSGT Bruce Hanke, U.S. Air Force (1967-2004)

Since my parents went through the Great Depression and only finished the 8th grade, there was never an incentive for me to go to college. I grew up a country boy with interests in Hot Rodding and playing fastpitch softball. I continued both during my service career. After High School, I assumed that I would get a job at the Kelly Springfield Tire Co, where my father was a bead room supervisor. The company would not hire me because I had not fulfilled my military draft obligation.

read more
Service Reflections of Maj Toppie Robinette, U.S. Air Force (1954-1974)

Service Reflections of Maj Toppie Robinette, U.S. Air Force (1954-1974)

Since my parents went through the Great Depression and only finished the 8th grade, there was never an incentive for me to go to college. I grew up a country boy with interests in Hot Rodding and playing fastpitch softball. I continued both during my service career. After High School, I assumed that I would get a job at the Kelly Springfield Tire Co, where my father was a bead room supervisor. The company would not hire me because I had not fulfilled my military draft obligation.

read more
Service Reflections of SSGT Kenneth Russell, U.S. Air Force (1951-1954)

Service Reflections of SSGT Kenneth Russell, U.S. Air Force (1951-1954)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents SSGT Kenneth Russell's legacy of his military service from 1951 to 1954. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE. Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Air Force. My draft number was coming up, and I preferred the Air Force over the Army. The Korean War was on, and it looked like I would be drafted, so I enlisted in the Air Force in Salt Lake City, Utah, in January 1951. My basic training took place at Lackland AFB, Texas, but it was...

read more
Service Reflections of SSGT Dennis Bengtson, U.S. Air Force (1969-1973)

Service Reflections of SSGT Dennis Bengtson, U.S. Air Force (1969-1973)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents SSGT Dennis Bengtson's legacy of his military service from 1969 to 1973. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE. Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Air Force. At the time, so many Marines and Army were going to Viet Nam, and I still wanted to do my part. If I went to the Navy and got assigned to a ship, went out in the ocean, and did not see land, I couldn't wrap my head around that being from land-locked Iowa. I had already taken...

read more
Service Reflections of SMSGT Arnold Guiao, U.S. Air Force (1991-2014)

Service Reflections of SMSGT Arnold Guiao, U.S. Air Force (1991-2014)

PRESERVING A MILITARY LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS The following Reflections represents SMSGT Arnold Guiao's legacy of his military service from 1991 to 2014. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on Togetherweserved.com (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The following Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life. Start recording your own Military Memories HERE. Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Air Force. 3703 BMTS FLT 006 OUTSTANDING FLIGHT LACKLAND AFB When I was young, I had a chance to attend UC Davis, but my brother requested if I could go to a college near San Francisco. The reason for that was my brother needed me to help in babysitting my two nieces. Eventually, I lost...

read more
Service Reflections of SGT Donald Davey, U.S. Air Force (1965-1970)

Service Reflections of SGT Donald Davey, U.S. Air Force (1965-1970)

It was 1965 … the War in Vietnam was really gearing up. I wanted to serve but not be drafted. My father served in OSS in WWII, both the Training and Operations Branches of that very elite Secret unit, and ended up in the Occupation of Japan. OSS was the precursor to the CIA. I had a choice to serve in any branch, so I took all the various branch tests and selected the USAF in March with a reporting date after high school graduation in June… After arrival at my first duty station, I volunteered for Vietnam and got the orders, but they were changed to Korat, Thailand. I volunteered again at Korat and was sent to Ubon, Thailand; once there, I volunteered again but was sent to Udorn, Thailand/Laos the third time.

read more
Service Reflections of Sgt Thomas Hewell, U.S. Air Force (1972-1976)

Service Reflections of Sgt Thomas Hewell, U.S. Air Force (1972-1976)

In June of 1971, I graduated from Oconee County High School, and a friend of mine helped me get a job as a Laboratory Technician in Plant Pathology and Genetics at the University of Georgia starting in July of that year. It sounded like a neat job at first, but after a few months of looking through a microscope in a small room, I quickly realized that was not what I wanted to do long-term. I had always thought about serving in the military because of the men in my family who had served in the different military branches and some friends of mine from High School who had immediately enlisted right after graduation. The Vietnam War was on the news constantly, and I just felt the need to serve. Although the draft was still in place, my draft number was 340, so I probably would never have been drafted, but I wanted to do my part to serve my country.

read more
Service Reflections of SMSgt Theodore Fafinski, U.S. Air Force (1958-1980)

Service Reflections of SMSgt Theodore Fafinski, U.S. Air Force (1958-1980)

I always wanted to join the Military. My high school friend joined the Naval Reserve while in school. I joined the local Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Composite Squadron while in High School. In the summer of my Junior year, I went to the NY Wing CAP Encampment at Plattsburgh AFB.

I enjoyed the military discipline and military training. While there, I participated in an actual Search and Rescue Mission when a KC-97 crashed near Lake Champlain. The adventure happened because of the opportunity to travel without worrying about a place to stay, food, medical care, and a paycheck. I made up my mind to enlist after High School. The following year after graduating, as many of my classmates left for college in September, I left for Lackland AFB in mid-September for basic training.

read more
Service Reflections of 1stSgt James Closs, U.S. Air Force (1969-1994)

Service Reflections of 1stSgt James Closs, U.S. Air Force (1969-1994)

In July 1955, the day after my 17th birthday, a long-time friend, Mac Viars, and I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and before the day was over, we were on a train headed for Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas.

Our original plan was to enlist in the Navy, but the Navy recruiter told us we couldn’t go until later. The Air Force recruiter said we could leave “today,” so that was decided. We needed a parent’s signature on an Air Force form when we enlisted. At that time, my mother was living in Baxter Springs, Kansas. So, Mac’s mother signed my mother’s name on my form.

After completing a physical exam, swearing in, and some paperwork, we boarded a train at Union Station in St. Louis wearing jeans, white T-shirts, “throw-away” shoes, and a few packs of cigarettes. We counted on getting all new clothes when we got there, and that did come true.

read more