After high school, Doc went to Purdue University, graduating with Honors as a Distinguished Graduate, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force. November 1957, the Colonel began his 31-year Air Force career as a Fighter Pilot, Amphibious Pilot, and a Helicopter Pilot.
After nearly six years flying the F-100 Nuclear-Capable Fighter Jet, he transitioned to the Indiana Air National Guard in Terre Haute, IN where he flew the F-84. Jim entered Purdue University, School of Veterinary Medicine receiving his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine as the top clinician and Distinguished Graduate. After Vet School, Jim moved to Arizona to start practicing veterinary medicine. Upon arriving in Phoenix, he joined Air Force Reserves as a member of the 302d Air Rescue Squadron. He initially flew the amphibious HU-16 aircraft before the unit transitioned to helicopters in 1971.
Jim assumed command of the 302d Special Operations Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The “Old Man” commanded until Jan 1984; at which time he was promoted to Colonel in the Air Force Reserves. That ended his love affair with the Jolly Green Giant H-3 helicopter. Doc served as the Air Force State Preparedness Liaison Officer at the Arizona State National Guard Headquarters. He retired on April 1, 1988, where he received the Legion of Merit, Army Commendation Medal, and the Arizona Commendation Medal.
Jim retired from Veterinary practice in 2002, ending a long and successful run with his partner Bill Welty. He and Sandy spent their time with family and friends at their cabin in Munds Park, AZ enjoying hunting, fishing, skiing, and traveling.