Originally Published: November 10, 2015 7:45 p.m.
Louie 'Bob' Hanson
City of Residence: Prescott Valley
Branch of Service: U.S. Air Force
Dates of Service: March 1953-July 1976
Rank: Chief Master Sgt. (E-9)
A great ride;
we did it together
I was born and raised in northeast Iowa (Waukon), the only son of a carpenter. I had two older sisters. It was the post-Depression era of 1933. I never realized we were poor because we had food and a warm house for the cold winters.
Our town of 4,000, where we knew everyone, was a great place to grow up, and grow up I did. In high school, I saw this great-looking gal from a farm south of town. I was a senior and she was a junior. We both went to the same church so we got to know each other well at youth activities.
After her graduation, we were married. We had no idea I might be drafted into the Korean War, but it happened. I had always admired the military since witnessing the end of World War II at the age of 13. I was advised by some friends that because I was married, the Air Force would be the best choice. I enlisted in March of 1953.
After basic training, I was sent to F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming. My training was in teletype maintenance. I was able to bring Carol out to Wyoming and live off-base. We pulled a 23-foot trailer from Iowa to Wyoming with a 1936 Ford. Unbelievable! My training was one of the longest schools in the Air Force, so we spent "a winter" in Cheyenne. What an experience! The old Ford started every morning.
I was blessed with a wonderful wife who was always ready for new adventures, each time we were assigned to another base. She always had her husband's career foremost in her mind, along with our three children's welfare. They were born in Wyoming (Rick), Spain (Mark) and Massachusetts (Diane). Later, our two sons followed me on active duty, one in communications and the other in air traffic control, each reaching non-com rank after six years of service.
My 23-year career to July 1976, spanned all aspects of "Secure Communications" in airplanes, underground and support of the White House. Carol and I praise the Lord for His watch, care and safety, with only one year of separation in Vietnam. My 13 medals including the Bronze Star, also reaching the rank of Chief Master Sgt. (E-9), topped by 63 yewars of marriage to the same farm girl, gives us many good memories. We have lived in Prescott and Prescott Valley for nearly four decades now, and all we can say is, "What a trip!"