Life Prior To USAF
I was a cowboy, ranch hand, and farmer in the Sandhills of Nebraska until age 17. In February 1956 it was 30 degrees below zero in a north wind and I was out of a job. An Air Force blue sedan drove by (recruiter) and you know the rest of the story.
After basic training at Parks AFB in California I was sent to Keesler for air traffic control training. From there I went to Lowry AFB, Colorado and Chateauroux AB, France. In France my OIC, Captain Dell Toedt, talked me into taking the requisite tests for officer and pilot training. I passed both, was accepted, and left France for 18 months of intensive remodeling.
Memories Of OCS
Beats me. I was in a daze throughout the process. Ask anyone.
Life After OCS
I went to pilot training at Laughlin AFB, Texas with subsequent flying tours at Laughlin, Southeast Asia, and Randolph AFB, Texas. I have flown every airplane that begins with a T- plus the A-1 Skyraider and the O-2 Duck.
I did staff tours at Air Training Command, Tactical Air Command, plus USAFE and NATO. In the process, I became an expert on joint operations at the grunt level resulting in 10 years of living on forts and casernes in the US and Europe. My last two years were spent jumping out of C-130s, C141s, and various helicopters while stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. This tour earned me the sobriquet, “One jump too many” Karre.
By then I was tired so I retired to San Antonio in 1987.
I entered the public education battlefield and survived for eight years. During recovery, I sold whisky to a discriminating public. I am now editor of a quarterly magazine for the Order of Daedalians and also serve the public in a variety of ways; City Councilman, member of the Board of an Economic Development Corporation, and other civic endeavors. I and my wife of forty years, Janice, have three children, seven grandchildren, and two dogs/two cats.
I’m beginning to think less is more—no matter where we land. But wherever life takes us I must reserve an hour or so a day to count my blessings and reflect on the alternatives—if that blue sedan hadn’t shown up on that cold day in Nebraska so many years ago.