Farmer's Son, Military Career

Clarence Vold
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About the Author

Born in Mitchell, SD, the only one of my siblings born in a hospital. Raised on a farm by a father that encouraged his children to follow their dreams. He planned on me taking his place on our farm, but I saw a different future that did not include farming.

College was in the future, but initially a failure and the Air Force seemed like an appropriate place to plan my future. The opportunity to travel was there and led to an assignment in Northern Honshu, Japan.

Love was in the air but cut short by the death of my father. Further assignments came, then marriage and at 8 years of service a critical decision had to be made, either a civilian or military career and my choice was the Air Force in a 30-year career that culminated in promotion to the highest enlisted rank.

This career included assignments as an electronics technician, military training instructor and instructor supervisor, a KC & EC-135 boom operator until grounded medically. I scheduled alert and flight training, missile crew alert duty and administrative airlift mission for 5th Air Force, then aircraft operations management.

My boom operator experience included 43 combat missions over Thailand and the Gulf of Tonkin. This included one mission very frightening in retrospect – in a KC-135 following a flight of F-4s towards Hanoi during Linebacker II and at one point about two miles ahead of a B-52 bomb strike. I was at Headquarters 5th Air Force and involved in the KAL 007 recovery operations.

After retirement from active duty my second attempt at college was successful. My employment with Hertz was fun. Farmer’s Son, Military Career is my first published book. I have written extensively about family history and enjoyed writing assignments in college.

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