Richard D. Etter

Profile Updated: September 13, 2016
Residing In: Delta, OH USA
Spouse/Partner: Deb
Homepage: View Website
Occupation: ELECTRONICS Contracting work for the FAA.
Children: 3 kids and now 9 grandchildren!

The last 2 were twins.
Military Service: Air Force  
Comments:

Retired FAA
Now doing contract work for FAA. Installing RADARs and Beacon Systems.
Seems all they want is for me to still climb the towers!

Spent 7 more years in AF after Prep school.

Been wilderness canoe tripping since late 70s.




As you can see from photos, a bit of a pack-rat.

School Story:

As with most, or all, of the class, I was already in the AF.
At first, during basic, I kept being sent around to
different places to take tests. Math, langauge, Phsical
fitness. No one said why, and the DI claimed he didn't know.
Since many of these tests came while were scheduled for KP,
it seemed like a good deal!

Then to Tech School and a 48 week RADAR course. Just before
Christmas break, a Capt came to talk to me about the Air
Force Academy and it's benefits. This was the first time I
knew why I had been taking those tests at Basic. I know that
many of you saw this opportunity and grabbed it for all it
was worth. I wasn't as enthusiastic. I had alreay been out
on my own for 2 years, and the thought of giving up my '55
Chevy, girls, and semi-freedom(I was an enlisted airman)
were not selling points. We had a few discussions over a
couple of days about the Air Force in general. at one
meeting he had my records, looking through them and saying
that I was pilot qualified upon Graduation.
That was a deciding factor!

I had been very active in CAP from about 12 years old, and at
14 when I got a part time job, I spent the money on flying
lessons. I'd ride my bike every weekend I had saved up enough
for an hours flight instruction, and took the ground school
tests. At 15 1/2 I got my drivers permit. That changed my
life. In Indianas' infinite wisdom, with that permit in hand,
a 15 year old could operate a motorcycle! The freedom was
almost as great as flying! I had been ready to solo but
between instuctor and parents, I would have had to wait until
I was 16. I soon after discovered girls! That was the last
of the flying lessons. Bikes and girls took center stage.

Right after High School I went to College for a sememster
and decided I'd rather work for awhile. I moved around,
working different jobs, fixing my '55 Chevy small block up
as I went. I was going nowhere and i knew it. So, I joined
the Air Force. Everyone thought i was nuts, and would end
up in Vietnam the next week. Why do that, they asked, since
my draft number was like 292? I was interested in electronics,
and fortunately had an aptitude for it.

Well, when the Capt told me I was pilot qualified, all the old
longings and enthusiaisms returned, and as they say, I signed
on the dotted line. Right before Christmas break I got orders
to report to AFA Prep the first week of Jan, '71.

I settled in and started the course. Wasn't really tough.
Some of my math was rusty, and English had never been a
strong suit. The only thing that wasn't good was getting
my knee jacked out of shape the last week. I would still
be in therapy for it during Basic Summer at the Academy.
Between the therapy and the workouts, it was sure sore at
night. It was during one of the therapy sessions that we
were talking about flying. I mentioned something about
flight school later and if my knee would be a problem getting
there. The therapist looks at my charts and told me that
I wasn't pilot qualified according to my charts. I was
none too happy. I took up the subject with an upperclassman
to find out for sure. He blew me off. Finally the Air
Officer was able to tell me that I was not in fact, pilot
qualified. There was the whole reason I had decided to go,
gone! We were getting the constant lectures on the cadet
Honor Code this whole time, and it just made me mad since
it seemed that I had been lied to to get me into the program.
Still. it was not an easy decision to leave.

If I had been right out of High school and home, my decision
might have been to stay. But giving up the rest of what I
thought was important for four years didn't appeal to me.
I put in my resignation. The final peeve was being called into
an office one day and handed the phone. It was my parents.
Apparently this was the last attempt to change my mind. When
the MSSGT there asked why I was leaving, I said something like
it just wasn't for me. He replied that some people would take
that as an insult because the military was a profession.
He hadn't even looked at my records and seen that I was going
back to the enlisted ranks.

Well, that's the story. Went right back to RADAR school,
and spent 2 enlistments in before getting out.

Richard D.'s Latest Interactions

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Mar
05
Mar 05, 2017 at 4:33 AM
Sep
13
Sep 13, 2016 at 6:33 AM
Mar 05, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Mar 05, 2015 at 4:33 AM
Richard D. Etter posted a message on William P. Murray IV's Profile. New comment added.
Sep 13, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Posted on: Sep 13, 2014 at 8:26 AM

I came into the prep school after new years break, so I was only there 1/2 the year. It went so fast, seems like I didn't really meet many of the guys there that weren't in my classes. Still go on the northern trips. In fact, just got back a couple of weeks ago from a short solo trip. Have one more planned for later this month or early Oct.

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Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Flickerball action.

by Rick Etter
Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Flickerball action.

by Rick Etter
Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Flickerball action.

by Rick Etter
Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Flickerball action.

by Rick Etter
Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Flickerball action.

by Rick Etter
Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
A little on the court action.

by Rick Etter
Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
A small amount of study action.

by Rick Etter
Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Model planes. Can't find any pics of them flying.

by Rick Etter
Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Cruisin' around Colorado.

by Rick Etter
Posted: Mar 08, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Cruisin' around Colorado.

by Rick Etter




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