I am a warrior. All of my life I have fought for what is right. In 1964 I joined the U.S. Marines to fight in Vietnam. A year later I found myself wading steaming rice paddies, slogging up rugged mountains and hacking through dark jungles in the I Corps area of South Vietnam. After serving a year in combat as an infantryman and Marine sniper, I was med-evaced out of country to spend the next six months in the U.S. Naval Hospital at Balboa, San Diego, recuperating from combat wounds and tropical diseases.
In 1969 I joined the Tulsa Police Department. For the next 26 years I would serve in assignments that included Patrol Division, Fugitive Warrants Squad, Bomb Squad, Tactical Squad (SWAT), plain clothes assignments, and for the last fourteen years, police helicopter pilot and maintenance officer for the Air Support Unit. I retired in April, 1996 to pursue a career in investigative journalism.
My discharge from the Marines in 1968 did not end my military career. In 1972 I enlisted in a reconnaissance platoon in the Army National Guard, was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1975, then served in the following capacities in a 27 year career in both the National Guard and the Army Reserve: rifle platoon leader, executive officer, tactical officer (Officer's Candidate School), detachment commander, infantry company commander, NCO school commandant, battalion staff officer, and finally, attachment to an F-16 fighter wing as Ground Liaison Officer (GLO) working in the Intelligence Section. I retired in 1999 with 30 years service (active and reserve) as a Lieutenant Colonel.