Originally Published: November 10, 2015 7:38 p.m.
City of Residence: Prescott
Branch of Service: U.S. Air Force
Dates of Service: 1976 - 99
I joined the USAF in 1976 after graduating from Chico State College (now California State University, Chico) with a BA in Recreation Administration.
I enlisted in the Air Force on a bet a friend made to my father at a Christmas party in Jan 1976.
Daddy asked Dave if "Kelly would make it in the Air Force." Dave finished laughing and replied, "NO SIR! But I'd give anything to see her try!!"
My first duty station as an airman (with a college degree) was Hill AFB in Ogden, Utah.
My first AFSC (Air Force specialty code) was Weather Observer.
The Vietnam War was ending and Officer Training School (OTS) was not taking non-technical degreed enlistees, so I was enlisted until 1979.
I was commissioned a second lieutenant on July 12, 1979, and sent to a four-month tech school in Panama City, Florida, as an Air Weapons Controller (in wartime, we directed the pilots to the enemy targets like in "Top Gun" when Maverick and Goose knew where the bogies were). It's easier now to tell people I was an air traffic control specialist because we did work with the FAA and Joint Chiefs of Staff when the Russians flew to Cuba along the east coast. I have photos of that.)
I was stationed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1988 when the U.S. was reflagging Kuwaiti tankers and the Navy shot down the Iranian airliner.
I retired with 23 total years (1976-99) enlisted and officer on active duty; USAF reserve officer; AZ Air National Guard officer; USAF reserve enlisted then recommissioned at highest rank held as a USAF captain.