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Lonnie's Story

Lonnie's Story

As a young man just out of high school I had little prospects of a career in my small hometown. I worked as a painter, butcher, and warehouseman, but the work was not satisfying. One day, my mother suggested that I think about the U.S. Army as a career. I spent 39 years serving our country as a soldier and as a civilian for the Department of Army. I started as an Air Traffic controller and spent four years doing this great technical work. I realized that to make it in the Army I would need a degree, so I got one. I completed school and reentered the Army and served with my wife Heid. She managed our family and kept things as normal as she could while I was off to various parts of the world where the Army needed me and my skills. The Army had unlimited professions for me to choose from, but I am proud that I chose to be an Air traffic Controller, a Safety Officer, and a Helicopter pilot – for most of career a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot. On Jan 31, 2005, I retired from active duty and immediately landed a government safety job at Ft. Campbell in Kentucky where I worked for 12 years after retiring from the U.S. Army. During my career, I served two combat tours, flew a total of 3130.3 hours, 150.9 combat hours, and 260.3 Imminent Danger hours. I was stationed in Germany, Korea, Bosnia, Macedonia, Iraq, Kuwait, Somalia, Ft. Campbell Kentucky, Ft. Rucker Alabama. My service with the Army gave my family and me a very good life. My children experienced other cultures and what life was outside the United States of America. The Army was a great and challenging career for me. It allowed me to make brothers in arms, see the world, and allowed me to make something of myself for my family. If I could reset time, I would do it all again.