Honoring our Heroes
December 1, 2020 | View PDF
Brig Gen Lawrence H. Stevenson: Age 73
Brig Gen Lawrence H. Stevenson serviced 30 years in the United States Air Force. He served as the Vice Commander, Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, GA. In this position, General Stevenson was responsible for worldwide logistics support of most transport aircraft, F-15 fighters, support for remotely piloted vehicles, all Air Force helicopters, air-to-air missiles, surface motor vehicles, high-technology airborne electronics, as well as avionics and electronic warfare requirements. He retired April 1, 2003.
This highly decorated officer received the following awards and decorations: Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal.
Brig Gen Stevenson was born April 29, 1947, at Ironton, MO, to his parents, Henry and Ruth Stevenson, and he was reared in Fredericktown, MO, and graduated from Caledonia High School in 1965. Brig Gen Stevenson graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1971.
Following the footsteps of his father who served in the U. S. Army in WWII, he was commissioned upon graduation from Officer Training School in May 1973. Brig Gen Stevenson has served in various rated positions involving KC-135, B-52 and T-1 aircraft, and in positions at major command and joint command levels. Before assuming his last position before retirement, he was Director of Plans and Programs at Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas.
Brig Gen Stevenson completed extensive educational programs at civilian and at U.S. military institutions. He received a Master of Arts Degree in business management and administration, Central Michigan University in 1976. He fulfilled all of the requirements for completion of military program requirements at the following: Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL, in 1976, Air Command and Staff College by correspondence in 1981, National Security Management Course by correspondence in 1985, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA, in 1987, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL, in 1992 and Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security, Johns Hopkins School of Government in 1995.
Brig Gen Stevenson's career encompassed numerous assignments including two overseas. In June 1974, he completed undergraduate pilot's training at Laughlin AB, TX, as a distinguished graduate and in December 1974, he completed student pilot's training with the 4017th Combat Crew Training Squadron, Castle AFB, CA. During December 1974 through September 1979, her served as a KC-135 pilot, standardization and evaluation pilot, aircraft commander and staff instructor pilot, at Wurtsmith AFB, MI. He served as instructor pilot, standardization and evaluation instructor pilot, Combat Crew Training School, later, wing flying safety officer, 93rd Bombardment Wing, Castle AFB, CA, during September 1979 through January 1984. Brig Gen Stevenson's rating was Command pilot accumulating more than 3,900 flight hours. He flew the following aircraft: B-1, B-52, C-5, C-12, C-17, C-141, E-8, F-15, F-16 and KC-135.
Brig Gen Stevenson personified and excelled in leadership in the U. S. Air Force. He served as the program officer, Continental U.S. Bases and Units Division, later, Chief Executive, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, NB during January 1984 through July 1986. He attended the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA, July 1986 through March 1987. He deployed to Stuttgart, West Germany, and served as the Chief, War, and Special Plans and Analysis, Plans Directorate, Headquarters U.S. European Command March 1987 through November 1989. His next assignment was as Commander, 906th Air Refueling Squadron, later, Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations, 5th Bomb Wing, Minot AFB, ND, November 1989 through July 1991. He returned to Maxwell AFB, AL, to attend the Air War College during July 1991 through July 1992. Remaining at Maxwell AFB, he served as Director of Operational Affairs, later, Seminar Director, Department of Regional and Warfare Studies, and Director, South American Regional Security Analysis TRIP Air War College during July 1992 through January 1994. His next four assignments included leadership as Commander, namely of the 22nd Operations Group, McConnell AFB, KS, January 1994 through August 1996; Commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing, McConnell AFB, KS August 1996 through May 1998; as Vice Commander Vice Commander, Headquarters 5th Air Force, Yokota AB, Japan, during May 1998 through May 1999; as Commander, 12th Flying Training Wing, Randolph AFB, TX during May 1999 through August 2000; as Director of Plans and Programs, Headquarters AETC, Randolph AFB, TX, August 2000 through May 2001; and Vice Commander, Warner-Robins ALC, Robins AFB, GA, during May, 2001 through April 1, 2003.
After graduating from college and while working for General Motors corvette plant, he saw an advertisement for the U. S. Air Force on television, he volunteered for service beginning at the rank of Second Lieutenant and reaching the rank of Brigadier General. Brig Gen Stevenson states, "I loved the Air Force. It was always a new experience and exciting challenge. I just fell into my niche. I loved it, and apparently they loved me. It was a lot of pride just putting on the uniform and thinking about how fortunate that I am to be born in a country like this and to represent it through the military. I wish everybody could serve and get that feeling."
Since retirement from the military, for five years, he taught courses in organizational behavior and leadership courses at Auburn University at |Montgomery. He has served on the Board of the Deer Creek Subdivision in Montgomery, AL, and as a member of the Board of the Family Teams For Life (FTFL), a marriage and family educational non-profit whose mission is to train and equip military leadership couples to help others build Military Family Teams for Life and civilian couples build Family Teams for Christ (FTFC).
As a member of Montgomery's Frazer United Methodist Church, he devotes much time to volunteer-ministry with visitation at the Alabama Kilby Correctional Facility, teaching the Sowers Sunday School Class, delivering meals to elderly through Meals on Wheels and serving on the Staff Parrish Relation Committee. He feels that he has been blessed, and he wants to serve Jesus Christ. He and his wife, Mary Lou have been 54 married years, and they have two daughters and eight grandchildren, and he enjoys spending time with his family. For recreation, he works out and plays golf and pickle ball.
Ship's Serviceman Senior Chief Petty Officer Pete "Jiggs" Bowdoin: Age 90
Pete "Jiggs" Bowdoin served 22 years in the United States Navy. His awards and decorations include: National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Citation, Korean Service Ribbon, United Nations Ribbon and Good Conduct Medal.
Bowdoin was born June 7, 1930, at New Brockton, AL, to his parents, "Buck" Marshall Philip Bowdoin and Willie Till Bowdoin, and he was reared there. After dropping out of school in the 9th grade, his father taught him how to cut hair, and he worked as a barber and sold shoes. His father encouraged him to join the U.S. Navy, and he enlisted June 10, 1947, at the U.S. Navy Recruiting Station at San Diego, CA, at the age of 17. After scoring well on GED tests, his service included deployments to Hawaii, Guam, Japan and to two ports in China, Shanghai and Tsingtao. He sailed on the transport ship, the USS Jackson, from San Francisco to Shanghai where he boarded the hospital ship, USS Repose, for two weeks while waiting for the USS Kaskaskia to return from Saudi Arabia. His primary assignment aboard Naval vessels was on the USS Kaskaskia (AO-27) a Cimarron-class fleet replenishment oiler, where he worked as a barber and in the laundry, tailor shop and soda fountain for over six years. The ship was part of the USA's 7th Fleet in the Pacific Ocean.
Then he was assigned to serve at St. Alban's Naval Hospital at New York City for two years where he worked as a barber. He was then transferred to Midway Island for two years keeping records of merchandise in the ship's stores. His next three assignments also included work in keeping records of the ships' stores. He was aboard the USS Cavallaro, APD-128, a Crosley-class high speed transport for six months followed by assignment on the USS Calvert (APA-32), a Crescent City-class attack transport that served with the United States Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He then served on the USS Cook, APD-130, a frogman amphibious personnel destroyer. Bowdoin returned for shore duty to the USA and worked in Navy recruiting at Odessa, TX, and at Santa Fe, NM. He was transferred to Taiwan and then to El Cento, CA, at the U.S. Naval Air Facility managing the Navy exchanges. Bowdoin retired at El Cento August 22, 1969, at the rank of Ship's Serviceman Senior Chief Petty Officer.
Bowdoin and his wife, Patricia Joann, were married 48 years before she passed away, and they had one son and one grandchild. They lived at Seattle, WA, where he worked at Bonmarche in the receiving department for three years. They traveled often to Portland, Oregon, visiting relatives. They moved to AL in 1972 where he drove trucks delivering for Pepsi Cola. This was followed by employment as a food broker with George W. Thompson at Montgomery, AL, for three years and at Auburn, AL, as assistant store manager at Super Foods concluding employment for 10 years and as manager of Hudson Thompson Grocery Cash and Carry at Montgomery, AL, retiring in 1992.
His retirement years have included volunteer service as a first responder for the American Red Cross. In addition, he has been a ham radio operator with membership in the Montgomery Amateur Radio Club.
Bowdoin's reflections upon his Naval service are, "It was a good job, and it was what you made it. I enjoyed it. I advanced, and I went to places that I had never been. I did things that I had never dreamed. I learned leadership. I learned a lot working in the Navy's ships' store. I made good marks in the review boards."
Andrew E. Lindsey: Age 71
Andrew E. Lindsey served in the United States Navy for 21 years, including three years on active duty and 18 years as a drilling reservist. He received the following awards and medals: Navy Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon and Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.
Lindsey was born February 25, 1949, at Mobile, AL, to his parents, Sumpter D. Lindsey and Lilla Lindsey. He was reared in Daphne, AL, and graduated from Fairhope High School in 1966. Lindsey enrolled in NROTC at Auburn University, participated in Naval training during the summer before his senior year aboard USS Cabildo (LSD-16), a Casa Grande class dock landing ship, graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. Degree in economics in 1970 and received his commission for service in the U. S. Navy June 9, 1970. Lindsey served during the Vietnam War aboard Navy ships in the Atlantic Ocean. He served on the USS York County (LST-1175), a WWII-era landing ship tank at Little Creek, VA, near Norfolk. Aboard the York County, he earned his 1115 Designator as a Surface Warfare Officer. His second assignment also near Norfolk was on the staff, Commander Amphibious Squadron Two and embarked on the USS Shreveport (LPD-12), Landing Platform Dock. He completed his active duty in 1973.
Having grown up on a small family farm, Lindsey had little interest in pursuing agriculture as a career; however, after his active duty, he worked as assistant store manager with Pike Nurseries in northeast Atlanta for one year. His farming background and nursery experience prompted Lindsey to pursue a B.S. degree in Agronomy from Auburn University which he received in1976. He returned to Fairhope, AL, where he worked as the manager of Klumpp's Farm and Garden for two years. He then opened his own store, Eastern Store Nurseries, in Daphne, AL, operating it for 10 years. Next, Lindsey worked 20 years as Director of Landscaping at the University of South Alabama in Mobile retiring in 2009.
Lindsey and his wife, Vicki, were married for 24 years before she passed away, and they had one son and four grandchildren. He reared their son along with two of Vickie's children by an earlier marriage. He and his wife, Julie, have been married 12 years. They enjoy traveling, and he is an avid gardener, raising fruits, vegetables and flowers. Lindsey is an active member of First Baptist Church of Montgomery, AL, where he has served as a deacon, and he volunteers at the Caring Center. In 2019, he was selected Senior Volunteer of the Year by Hands On River Region.
Lindsey has served on eight international mission trips including Brazil and Guatemala and six missions to Cuba. His strong testimony in service to Jesus Christ is, "I love the Lord, and as long as he allows me, I want to serve."
Lindsey's conclusions about his military service are, "Military service for me encompasses a requirement that my mother had for her sons: if we were physically qualified, we would serve. My older half-brother died in a crash of a Navy plane when I was only a small boy, and two other brothers served as officers in the military because of our mother's admonition. I knew that I owed something to my country. There was that sense of obligation, of duty, honor and service. When I entered the Navy at age 21, I had to unlearn a lot of childish behavior in order to become an effective officer because a lot of people were depending on me for leadership. It became very important to me to grow up in a hurry."
Sergeant Gilbert R. Monismith Jr.: Age 86
Sergeant Gilbert R. Monismith Jr. is a U. S. Marine veteran who served eight years with some of the time during the Korean War. He was born at Lebanon, PA, July 13, 1934, to his parents, Gilbert R. Monismith, Sr. and Lillian Rebecca Monismith. During his youth, he lived at Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg and Camp Hill, PA. After finishing high school at Camp Hill and working for a year for Thompson Products making blades for G. E. turbine engines, in 1953, he volunteered for military service because he always wanted to be a U. S. Marine. Monismith completed Marine Basic Training at Parris Island, S.C., followed by duties at the Marine base at Quantico, VA, where he worked in fire-control optics used in all of the instruments in the artillery on tanks. Because of his experience in working as a polisher for G.E., he was selected for specialized duties which he did the entire time that he served in the Marine Corps. After serving at the Marine base at Camp LeJeune, N. C., he was deployed to Korea; however his ship returned to Camp LeJeune without his becoming involved in combat as the Korean War ended in June,1953, and he was discharged in October, 1961, with the rank of Sergeant.
After discharge, Sergeant Monismith returned to Harrisburg, PA, where he worked for one year with his uncle and then with a job processing the cash and charge tickets for the PA Turnpike. Then he worked at a Sunoco gas station as a mechanic for five years. In 1954, he married his wife, Jeri, and they had five children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. They were married for 59 years before she passed away. He worked for the Hershey Corporation in the creamery department followed by a move to MS. He worked for the Kellwood Corporation which made quilts and mattress pads for Sears Roe Buck for seven years. Next, he worked for Jack's Cookies as a supervisor at Osyka, MS, for seven years and later as a manager for Jack's Cookies at Montgomery, AL, for three years. He then worked as a route salesman of welding rods for Nunns Battery and Electric Co. for 15 years until retirement in 1989. After retirement from full-time employment, he worked part time as a mechanic in service stations and as an operator of a cotton-picking machine. He has enjoyed recreational activities of bowling, playing bingo at a senior center and having coffee visits with other retirees.
Sergeant Monismith said, "Serving in the Marine Corps meant discipline and honor. Don't ever forget your buddies. No one is left behind. I got educated."
Colonel George Brenton Smith: Age 75
Col Brent Smith served 30 years in the United States Air Force as an instructor pilot in the KC-135 and the B-52G/H, a staff officer at both the Strategic Air Command Headquarters and the Air Staff, a Squadron and Base Commander, and as Director of Operations, Plans and Resources, Air War College, Air University, Maxwell, Air Force Base (AFB), AL. As a command pilot, he accumulated over 4,000 flying hours. Col Smith is a highly decorated officer having received the following military decorations and awards: Defense Superior Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Combat Readiness Medal with one service star, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with one oak leaf cluster, Defense Medal with one service star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Cambodia), Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award with six oak leaf clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship ribbon and the Air Force Training Ribbon.
Col Smith was born to his parents, George Weldon Smith and Edith Mae Eagan Smith, October 5,1945, at Columbus, Ohio, was reared there and graduated from Whetstone High School in 1963. He received a B.A. Degree in education from Ohio State University in 1968 and an M.S. Degree in business administration from Central Michigan University (Washington, D.C) in 1981. In addition, he completed Squadron Officer School in 1975, Air Command and Staff College as a distinguished graduate in 1983 and Air War College in 1988, all three located at Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB) at Montgomery, AL.
Following in the footsteps of his father who had served as an instructor pilot of the B-17 aircraft during WWII, Col Smith completed the AFROTC program at Ohio State University where he was a member of the Arnold Air Society and was Group Commander and earned his pilot license through the Air Force Flight Instruction Program (FIP). He had always wanted to become a KC-135 pilot which is a military air refueling aircraft designed to support bombers of the Strategic Air Command. It was also used in the Southeast Asia theater as a force multiplier proving midair refueling to F-105 and F-4 fighter-bombers as well as B-52 bombers. Col Smith entered active military service January 2,1969, and completed undergraduate pilot training at Laughlin AFB, TX, Survival School at Fairchild AFB, WA., and KC-135 training at Castle AFB, CA. He then served as a KC-135 co-pilot, standardization and evaluation co-pilot, aircraft commander and instructor-pilot at Fairchild AFB, WA.
While at Fairchild AFB he was deployed to Southeast Asia multiple times where he flew 150 Young Tiger and Linebacker combat missions from January 1970, until the summer of 1973. Going TDY from Fairchild AFB, WA, Col Smith flew logistics missions from Hawaii to Anderson AFB, Guam, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa and U-Tapao, Thailand. He flew combat air refueling sorties out of Guam, Okinawa the Philippines and Thailand providing air refueling for F-105, F-4 and B-52 aircraft that were on combat missions in Vietnam. At Guam, he often flew strip alert missions providing emergency refueling of B-52's returning from Vietnam.
Col Smith then went to Offutt AFB, Nebraska where he served as the assistant executive officer to the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Inspector General under the Strategic Air Command's "Spotlight" program from 1974-1975. He was next assigned to Grand Forks AFB, ND, as a B-52H aircraft commander and Chief, Bomber
Standardization and Evaluation Branch from 1975-1978. He worked at the Pentagon in Programs and Evaluations and later became the Strategic Flying Hours Program Manager. Col Smith returned to flying duties in 1983 serving as a B-52G aircraft commander, instructor pilot, operations officer, and Squadron Commander of the 340th Bombardment Squadron, at Blytheville AFB. His squadron won the coveted Fairchild Trophy for the Strategic Air Command's Bombing and Navigation and the General George C. Kenney Award for the Best Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI).
In 1987, Col Smith attended the Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL, and after graduating, he remained on the faculty as Chief, Current Programs and Chief, National Security Forum. In addition, he served as a Seminar Director and course instructor in International Security Studies, Department of Warfare Studies. In 1991 Col Smith had an overseas unaccompanied tour with the Defense Nuclear Agency as the commander of Johnston Island. As base commander, Col Smith was responsible for support of Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS) which was the first chemical munitions disposal facility. Johnston Island is a remote atoll 800 miles southwest of Hawaii. Following this tour, Col Smith returned to Maxwell AFB in 1992 as the Dean of Students at the Air War College where he retired October 31, 1998.
After military retirement, Col Smith worked as the Director of Continuing Education at Alabama State University. Then he taught the Aviation and Space Program at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, Montgomery, AL, for 13 years. He and his wife, Betty, have been married 53 years, and have four children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. As a military wife, she has been a devoted wife to her husband and a genuine helper to other military wives. She was selected as the Strategic Air Command's Wife of the Year in 1973. Their first child was born while Brent was deployed to Southeast East Asia where he received a message from the Red Cross informing him of his son's birth. They are active members of the Frazer United Methodist Church, and have taken 13 mission trips to Cuba. They serve in the meals-on-wheels ministry and the blood donation program and Brent served as the president of the Sowers Sunday School Class. They have worked with four and five-year-old children in a Wednesday night missions and Bible program, and they have served in the English as a second language program (ESL). He enjoys playing pickleball and racket ball as well as scuba diving on trips to the Dominican Republic.
Col Smith's conclusions about his military service are, "I absolutely loved my time in the service. I love flying. I would have flown during my whole service career if I could have. I attended my 50th pilot training reunion, and it was absolutely wonderful to see all of these men again. I think that the Air Force and the military were not appreciated like they should have been when I entered the Air Force and went to Vietnam, but it was really my honor and my privilege to serve."
Col James Carl Poole Jr.: Age 81
Col James Carl Poole Jr served 29 years in the United States Air Force, and his Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) included serving as pilot, pilot-instructor and program manager. His awards and medals include: Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with ten oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Distinguished-Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Organizational Excellence, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Award with three service stars, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbons, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with seven oak leaf clusters, Air Force Training Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Col Poole was born July 1, 1939, to his parents, James Carl Poole Sr. and Olivia Colins Poole at Opelika, AL, and he was reared at Mobile, AL. In 1957, he graduated from Mobile's Murphy High School and in 1961 from the U. S. Air Force Academy in its third class. Col Poole trained as a pilot in the T-37 and T-33 aircraft and then became an instructor-pilot at Craig Air Force Base (AFB) Selma, AL in the T-38 aircraft. He volunteered for service in southeast Asia, trained in flying the F-4 Phantom aircraft at MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL, and in 1968, he was deployed to Udorn Air Base in Thailand for 9.5 months flying this aircraft as an aircraft commander on 100 Missions over North Viet Nam and 22 missions over South Viet Nam in both bombing and combat air patrol roles over North Vietnam.
Upon return to America in 1968, he attended Iowa State University receiving a Master of Science Degree in Astro-Aeronautical Engineering in June 1970. Col Poole was sent to Los Angeles Air Force Station, CA, working in the space-test program as project manager on one of the early space satellite launches to test capabilities of various equipment in orbit. He then attended the Navy Command and Staff College in Newport, Rhode Island, graduating in 1973. This assignment was followed by a tour at Wright Patterson AFB, OH, as the engine test manager for the A-10 fighter for three years and then as commander of a pilot training squadron at Columbus, MS, for three years. He then had three assignments in the Washington, D. C. area; namely as a student at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair for one year focusing on the military-industrial complex, to the Pentagon as Director of Airlift and Training Requirements for two years and lastly to Andrews AFB, MD, as Division Chief of Tactical Systems and Development for two years. Col Poole's last assignment was at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL, where he served as an instructor at the War College in charge of the Leadership Department for two years and as Dean of the War College for three years. He retired from military service June 30, 1990.
After military retirement, Col Poole worked as a consultant with organizations in strategic planning, process improvement and leadership development with Organizational Dynamics, Inc. traveling the world for 13 years followed by consulting working independently for seven years retiring totally in 2010.
Col Poole and his wife, Susan, have been married 32 years. He has two sons and one daughter from a previous marriage, one step-daughter, and they have six grandchildren. They enjoy travel, and he plays golf and pickleball. They are active members of Frazer United Methodist Church where he serves as a Sunday school teacher, was a past Chairman of the Parrish and Staff Committee, is an usher and a member of the Board of Stewards. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery Area Council on Aging for three years.
Col Poole survived perilous duty flying the F-4 Phantom during the Vietnam War; however 445 F-4 Phantom II aircraft were shot down. He has wondered why he survived while many other pilots did not. While teaching a Sunday school class many years after his military service, a member gave him a card upon which these words were printed, "You may not be here because you need to be here. You may be here because someone else needs you."
Col Poole's conclusions about his military service are, "Being in the military all of that time helps me to realize that there is something more important than who you are. It is service before self. The heritage of our country is precious. It is not something to be dealt with lightly. To keep our country free and able to positively impact the world, there must be a strong military. I felt privileged and thankful to have been in the military."
Col Charles Winnick Ashley: Age 71
Col Charles Ashley served in the United States Air Force 27 years, and his Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) was auditor, Detachment Commander, instructor and academic program manager. He received the following awards and decorations: Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force (AF) Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Organizational Excellence Award with three oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, AF Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, AF Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, AF Longevity Service Award with five oak leaf clusters and AF Training Ribbon.
Col Ashley was born July 24, 1949, at Jackson, MS, to his parents, Winnick Luther Ashley and Mildred Waits Ashley where he was reared and then graduated from Murrah High School in 1967. He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in accounting in 1971 and later received a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of West Florida in 1977.
Having completed Air Force R.O. T.C. training, he reported for duty atEdwards Air Force Base (AFB) as an auditor for 2.5 years. This was followed by an overseas tour to Osan Air Base, South Korea, for one year. Col Ashley served three years at Eglin AFB, FL, as auditor and then returned to Edwards AFB as the Detachment Commander of the Air Force Audit Agency office (AFAA). One exciting highlight was seeing the first Space Shuttle (Columbia) land at Edwards AFB in 1981.
Before assuming his next assignment, he completed the Academic Instructor School at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL. Col Ashley felt that the training there changed his life because he discovered that God had given him a gift for teaching. He then went to the University of Southern MS working as Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies for three years, where he was among six faculty members recognized for excellence in teaching and was presented the Leo Codd award as the Outstanding AFROTC Instructor in the nation by the Secretary of the Air Force.
Col Ashley was then assigned to Tinker AFB, Oklahoma City, OK, returning to auditing in a supervisory auditing position as branch chief for the Air Logistics Center for two years followed by three years of assignment to Offutt AFB, Omaha, NE at Strategic Air Command (SAC) as AFAA Detachment Commander and liaison to the SAC Commander, responsible for audit operations at six bases. Col Ashley's second overseas tour was at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, as Detachment Commander for the AFAA office for two years. While there, within 36 hours, the Red Cross assisted him in getting home to Jackson, MS, for the funeral of his father. He was then selected to attend the Senior Service School at the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL. After graduation, he served on the faculty of the Air War College for six years as a Seminar Director, Department Chairman, and Director of the European Defense Industry regional studies trip. He received two awards, Outstanding Instructor of the Year and the Wright Brothers Officership Award. Col Ashley retired there February 28, 1998.
Col Ashley's conclusions about his military service are, "I felt a call to serve. Upon retirement, that service turned into a higher call as I was ordained and called to serve the Lord through the ministry at First Baptist Church for 21 years. The summer ROTC training that I received at Maxwell Air Force Base Gunter Annex was tough training, but it made a man out of me. I am very thankful to the Air Force for giving back to me and making me a continual learner. No matter what you did, there was something out in front of you, another goal. Keep getting better. Don't give up. It is all motivated toward service. I loved the Air Force and moving around. I found my real calling in life is education and training. I love teaching God's Word and sharing the good news of Jesus with a lost world."
Col Ashley and his wife, Ann, have been married almost 50 years, and they have two daughters and four grandchildren who are now the center of their life. He enjoys investing in his grandchildren, playing golf and working in his yard. Col Ashley's personifies Christian service as a teacher of a coed-adult Sunday school class, as a deacon and for 21 years as Minister of Adults and Minister of Education at First Baptist Church of Montgomery, AL., retiring in February of 2019.