David W. Streeter

StreeterI was born and raised in upstate New York and Lyn (Lydia) is from Manningtree, Essex, England.

I quit High School and joined the Air Force in 1955 and became a Preventive Medicine Specialist and also performed some independent Medic duties. I met and married my lovely wife in England where we spent four years and had two children. We began thinking about the OCS option upon being reassigned to Dover AFB, Delaware where we had another child. After seven years enlisted and attaining the rank of S/Sgt. I was selected for the next-to-last OCS class. We were not well off so I started to sell Filter Queen Vacuum cleaners to help with the uniform requirement. Of course, I was unaware that Lautersteins would grant you all the credit you could possibly use and then some. So, we were off to San Antonio and Billy Mitchell Village and our first great adventure.

OCS came as a shock, but we knew it was our quickest way to Officer status and a better life so we endured. The thing that impressed me most was discovering my limitations and strengths. I vividly remember standing in line formation inside the academic hall and trying to sneak a peak at my wife passing through the end hall. Alas, I was caught by first class and made to feel like I had committed some horrible crime. At the time I believed them. How quickly one adapts when faced with unforeseen challenges. This goes for Lyn also. Taking care of three kids, supporting me (and several adopted sons) is something I am grateful for and proud of her for completing OCS along with me. Having her pin on those gold bars is one of the proudest moments of my life and a milestone in the successful life of the Streeter family.

We next traveled to Waco for navigator training and the birth of our next child. So far, girl, boy, girl, boy. Several OC grads attended with me and we were considered gung ho by the OTS types. In 1964 we headed for sunny Sacramento and upgrade training to Electronic Warfare Officer at Mather AFB. Fortunately, I stayed there for four years as an instructor. We loved California and were not happy to leave there in 1968 as I was selected for SAC as a combat crewmember. We went to Blytheville, Arkansas where my career took a sudden turn because I was medically grounded. I became an Avionics Officer and loved it. Our fifth child was born and before long we were on our way again to Avionics school and assignment to Griffiss AFB, NY. In 1970 we moved to SAC Headquarters at Omaha where Lyn and I started to take some college courses. In 1974, I was passed over for temporary Major although I was a regular officer. I figured my career was in decline but accepted an assignment to the Airborne Missile Maintenance Squadron (Drones) at Davis-Monthan in Tucson. We had a good four years here and I was able to make permanent Major, which had a positive effect on my career. Imagine the surprise on the faces of the Majors (and this Captain) when the Base Commander congratulated us. Lyn received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at The University of Arizona.

The next assignment for me was remote at Osan AB, Korea as Chief of Maintenance for the U-2 reconnaissance unit. One of my most rewarding assignments. Very top-notch and dedicated people and tremendous support from higher headquarters. After a year in Korea, we were off to the parent unit for U-2 and SR-71 operations and our final year in the Air Force. In 1980, after 25 years we joined civilian life in Tucson unsure of what would lie ahead. We had a wonderful secure life in the Air Force and will always be grateful for the opportunities we were presented.

From 1981 to 1994, I was a Service Manager for a Caterpillar dealer. Also received my Bachelor’s degree, which was long coming. Lyn teaches Speech Communication and Public Speaking and also was the Park College Administrator for several years. I am now in my third career. I am the Manager of a Geomechanical Lab and teach at the Mines and Geology Department of the U of A.

We are very fortunate in having twelve grandchildren, ten of whom are in Tucson, the other two in San Diego. We enjoy our family and have frequent get-togethers or head for San Diego to vacation. As far as the future goes, we have not made definite plans but I think we are seriously considering cutting back on the outside-the-home work so we can enjoy our home and family more. Possibly some volunteer work.