28 February 1941 – The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948
Stephen L. Amdor
“And they even paid us to fly these magnificent machines!” that’s the way Steve remembers his time in service.
Steve Amdor arrived at the Air Force Academy in 1961 as a member of the Class of 1965. Coming from a farm in Illinois, a military institution like the Academy was quite a shock. He arrived early in the morning to get a head start, which was a mistake as the upperclassmen decided to use him for 3 hours’ worth of instructional practice. His first roommate wasn’t much help in the military department either, since he was a peanut farmer’s son from Georgia — Jody Powell, President Carter’s press secretary. Steve’s saving diversion from USAFA academics and military activities was sports.
He played football and ran track, which kept him on the training tables and provided off-base activities . Lining up as the starting fullback in the 1963 Gator Bowl was a particularly memorable moment in his USAFA sports career. After graduation, Steve remained at the Academy as a football graduate assistant for Ben Martin. He learned how difficult it was to recruit talented, motivated, qualified athletes, especially for a military institution during the Vietnam War. (served as 1965 -1966 Asst Football Coach, USAF Academy, CO).
After the Academy, Steve went off to pilot training. Over the course of his career, he flew F- 100s in combat during the 1968 Tet Offensive and the Misty FAC mission in North Vietnam, in addition to flying F-4s and F-16s in Europe, Korea, and CONUS. His last assignment was as F-16 Squadron Commander at Luke Air Force Base—the best job in the Air Force, in his opinion.
Steve and his wife, Donna, now divide their time between Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Surprise, Arizona. Their visits to their 6 children and 11 grandchildren keep them busy. The Amdors’ motto is: “Life is good, and good health is a blessing.” They feel fortunate to be able to give back to the Air Force Academy programs that are dear to their hearts. One of their favorite funds that they support is the Warrior Remembrance Endowment, as they are avid Falcon fans and Blue and Silver members.
Source: excerpted from usaf.org, donor page.