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My Military Heritage

Guard Flying: The lifetime of pilot friends I had made throughout my military career took care of me as I navigated a divorce, partial employment, and the separation from my children. They assisted me in my job search seeking employment as an airline pilot. I am still indebted to my pilot friends for their guidance and mentorship. I wouldn’t be here at American Airlines without them!

First Flying Assignment: I worked hard in my first squadron as an RF-4C “Recce” pilot in Zweibrucken, West Germany.

Second Flying Assignment: I worked hard at Zweibrucken and was one of the lucky few to be selected to convert to the F4-G “Wild Weasel” at George Air Force Base in California before Desert Shield turned into Desert Storm. Unfortunately, before I could fight in the “storm” I reacted to vaccinations and was paralyzed with Guillain-Beret syndrome. I eventually recovered but lost my flying tickets for a few years and went to Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles to recover, falling back on my degree as an electrical engineer.

Third Flying Assignment: My time in LA came to an end and I was fortunate enough to return to the cockpit, this time in the A-10. I received an assignment to Eielson AFB Alaska, where I was lucky enough to see the Pacific and European theaters, combat time, and experience serving with the Army as a Battalion Air Liaison Officer (BALO). Still, I realized that a military career was probably not my ideal fit, so I left active duty for the Air Guard.