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
I was a distinguished graduate from Air Force ROTC at Texas Christian University in 1964 and received a Regular Commission in the USAF. In 1965 I reported for active duty at Laughlin AFB near Del Rio, Texas as part of UPT Class 66-G.
Upon graduation from pilot training in May 1966, I was assigned to train in the F-100 at Luke AFB, AZ. What a great assignment! So much fun. Our entire Luke AFB class of 10 was assigned to the 3rd TFW at Bien Hoa AB in Vietnam. My assignment was to the 90th TFS “Pair-O-Dice”. Upon reporting as a first lieutenant to the Squadron, Ops Officer Dale Rook said, “We have a Lieutenant!” I was the only Lieutenant in the squadron for all of 1967 and I was and am still known as The Lieutenant.
There was such a wealth of fighter experience in the squadron. I have told people over the years that it was like being called up as a rookie baseball player to a NY Yankee team that included Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. What an honor to be a part of this group. Being a part of a fighter squadron in combat was everything I had dreamed of. The camaraderie was incredible.
It was a privilege to fly as a First Lieutenant with the great fighter pilots that were part of the 90th TFS in 1967-1968. It was special to lead air strikes, but just flying on the wing with those guys was awesome.
I had the opportunity to upgrade to a flight leader and after Vietnam became a T-38 Instructor Pilot at Reese AFB near Lubbock, TX. The transition from flying combat in the F-100 to the role of an instructor in the Air Training Command was difficult for me and I didn’t adjust well. I burned out rather quickly. In December of 1968 I got married and while I had planned for a career in the USAF, I soon decided that I would be better off taking another direction.
I got out of the Air Force in July of 1971 and began law school at Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, TX in August 1971.
I completed law school in 2 1/2 years and began practicing in January of 1974 with a law firm in downtown Dallas. My primary practice was in trials. Our firm represented the largest electric utility serving most of North Texas and I eventually became the lead defense attorney for that client. I also served the company as an adviser concerning contracts and risk management, worked with distribution systems, nuclear power plant matters and lignite mining concerns.
Toward the end of my practice, I began to serve as an independent mediator in litigation matters. My legal career was topped-off with my election as Chair of The Board of the State Bar of Texas serving in 2007-2008. In accordance with the law firm’s policy of mandatory retirement at age 65, I retired in March of 2007.
My wife and I have two adult children and two wonderful grandsons. When I retired we moved to Sun City near Austin, TX so that we could be close to our kids and our grandsons in Austin. We have three golf courses in Sun City and that is an activity I love.