Gene F. Lake

LakeI grew up in various places around St Louis (mostly on the Illinois side).  Joined the Army Reserve in February 1955, then dropped out of high school in March 1955 before completing the junior year. I enlisted in the USAF in March 1956.  After tech school at Scott AFB, I worked as a personnel specialist at Ellsworth AFB, SD.  Was assigned to Spain, arriving in late August 1957 and was assigned as a personnel specialist and personal affairs specialist

I met Loly in early September 1957,  and we were married in Seville, Spain on 15 November 1958. Loly grew up in a small town in Spain where her family had been for centuries.  After completing school, she and three sisters then lived with their aunt in Seville where they worked in various jobs (there were few jobs available in her hometown).   She also had two older married sisters living in Seville.  The younger siblings (there were 10 children in her family) were back in the home town.

In 1961, was assigned to Chanute AFB, IL and retrained to be a missile systems analyst on the Hound Dog missile.  Worked at Blytheville AFB, AR from July to December 1962.

After graduating from OCS and receiving my commission in June 1963, I worked as a personnel officer at McChord AFB.  In early 1966 located an assignment at San Pablo AB, Spain with AFCS, but MAC would not release me, so I volunteered for Vietnam.  Was personnel and administration officer in the communications squadron at DaNang Airport, Vietnam from July 1966 to July 1967. 
In August 1967 I was assigned as a communications officer at Moron AB, Spain until my unit deactivated.   AFCS personnel called and said I was urgently required for the next assignment (Offutt AFB) and there was no time to take leave.  We left Moron AB without a port call. We just got on the courier plane to Torrejon AB, Spain on 30 December 1970.  The next morning I talked to a personnel guy who amended my orders so we could get on a C-141 to Charleston AFB, SC.  After Offutt AFB, we moved to Keesler AFB, MS so I could attend Communications Electronics Staff Officer Course and Air Command and Staff College (concurrent seminar) in December 1972.  Graduated in July 1973 and was assigned to Shaw AFB, SC.  I retired in grade of Major on 1 May 1976.

I attended Southern Illinois University and received an MBA in March 1978.  I began Federal civil service career at Hq Air Force Communications Service, Scott AFB, IL.  From April 1978 to January 1982 I was a communications specialist doing planning, programming, and budgeting for total Air Force communications requirements.  From January 1982 to May 1984 I was deputy chief, voice operations division at Hq AFCS.  In June 1985 returned to Hq Air Force Communications Command and worked as communications engineering and installation budget programmer.  In March 1986, I transferred to the Defense Communications Agency in Arlington, VA.  My last position was deputy director of voice networks, Defense Information Systems Agency, responsible for worldwide management of the Defense Switched Network and the Defense Red Switch Network.  I retired in January 1996, as GS-15.

We sold our house in Burke, VA in January 1997 and put our household goods in storage.  We went to Spain for a few months (we own an apartment in Seville).   Then the renters in our house in Illinois decided to move out and we moved in.  We like to walk and those winters in Illinois were too cold for me to get out much.  So we had a house built in Ormond Beach, Florida and moved there in December 1999.  Now we spend two or three or four months a year in Spain, going several times.  We also visit our three children (ages 43, 41, 39) and seven grandchildren, so we are on the road a lot. 

Our daughter (our oldest child) just bought a Blimpie subs & salads franchise.  She quit her job in human resources at Southern Illinois University.  Her husband is a metallurgist at a steel mill.  They live in Illinois close to St Louis.  They have two children (girl 20 and boy 17). Our oldest son is a GS-15 working for the Defense Intelligence Agency and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.  His wife is from Sweden.  They live in the Virginia suburbs of DC.  They have two children (girl 14 and boy 10).

Our youngest son is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force and is commander of the 38th Student Squadron at Maxwell AFB.  He was the military aide to Dr. Sheila Widnall, Secretary of the Air Force.  His wife is from Illinois.  They live in Prattville, AL and have three children (girl 14, boy 12, and girl 7).

In my spare time,  I enjoy researching and compiling information on the USAF in Spain.