Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma in 1956, raised in El Reno, Oklahoma. Graduated from El Reno High School in 1974. Entered the Air Force in September, 1975 and retired in January 2000, attaining the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (E-9). My career was spent working with Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, 10 years on a Titan II Combat Crew, 9 years in Minuteman II maintenance, and 5 years ICBM test launches at Vandenberg AFB, California. Courtesy of Uncle Sam I earned an associates degree in Electronics and a bachelors degree in Management.
Worked for AT&T from May 2000 until August 2011.
Enjoy typical guy stuff
... cars, motorcycles, guns, and knives, but photography has been an
obsession since digital cameras became relatively affordable. Have even lucky enough to win a few awards,
the biggest being "Best in Show" at the 2006 Oklahoma
State Fair where there were over 1100 entries. Other notable wins
are 2005 Babbler's Porsche Forum - 1st place best Porsche Photo - Professional Category, 2004 Oklahoma State Fair - Two 1st Place Blue Ribbons, 8 total awards, 2004 Edmond Sun - First place Annual Vacation Photo Contest, 2004 Fredmiranda.com - Second place photo of the week, over 51,000 registered photographers, 2003 Edmond Tourism Division - Two 1st Places, 2003 Edmond Sun - First place Annual Vacation Photo Contest, 2003 Edmond Sun - First place Photo of the Week Contest.
September 11th used to be a great day. My birthday. Even more important than my birthday, September 11 had special significance to me as September 11th, 1976 was the day I pulled my first Titan II combat crew 24 hour alert at underground missile silo 374-05, just north of Conway Arkansas.
According to DFAS, base pay for an E-3 under 2 years (my grade and time in service on September 11, 1976), was $418.20 a month. After mandatory tax, social security, Old Soldier's Home deductions, "good troops support the Air Force Assistance Fund, Savings Bond, Combined Federal Campaign Fund yadda yadda yadda ... " deductions, I seem to remember my take home pay being just over $180 every 2 weeks. The only reason I was an E-3 instead E-2 was because I agreed to a 6 year commitment instead of only a 4 year commitment. I was young, married, and knew I would need the additional money when I enlisted. My son was born while I was in tech school (Honor Graduate) at Sheppard AFB only 4 months ago. Since then I had gone through Combat Crew Training (Distinguished Graduate) at Vandenberg AFB for 2 months before going on to my first permanent duty location of Little Rock AFB, Arkansas. After 2 additional months of upgrade training, a two part standboard upgrade evaluation over a 2 day timeframe (Highly Qualified rating), and a successful briefing and demonstration of my Emergency War Order responsibilities to a full bird colonel who certified me "Mission Ready". I had now been on active duty over a year, one year and one week to be exact. September 11th, 1976 was my 20th birthday. Not old enough to legally drink, not enough rank to be eligible for a house in base housing (below E-4 personnel were not considered responsible enough), earning just barely enough to not be eligible for food stamps (soldiers with one less stripe who where married with one child were eligible), here I was on alert at an underground missile silo as a part of a 4 person crew responsible for launching the largest weapon the United States has ever had in it's arsenal. 500 times the size of the bombs we dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Titan II's Mark 6 re-entry vehicle with it's 9 megaton W-53 thermonuclear warhead would kill millions of innocent people and surely result in Armageddon if launched. The Air Force trained me for over a year before levying this heavy responsibility on my 20 year old shoulders ... the United States government paid me $418.20 a month, before deductions, for that honor.
Everything changed on September 11th, 2001. A cowardly act against thousands of innocent people transformed September 11th into a horrible day. I no longer have birthdays.
Nuke em till they glow!