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"Relax, this won't hurt me a bit!"

 

I am a the happy result of a collision of English and Scottish families that settled the wide plains of Western Iowa, there's a lot of farming in those bloodlines, and with farming comes people good with their hands, which may ultimately explain my first career choice, but we'll get to that later, for now on to the childhood!

I was born in Iowa and grew up in Iowa, Missouri, Iowa again, and finally Texas, I did a lot of the usual stuff, played baseball and hated it, basketball and wasn't very good at it, football and loved it. There was also hiking, hunting and fishing, and I never sat when I could stand, stand when I could walk or walk when I could run.

Nothing ever compared to the enjoyment I got from reading. Adventure, mystery, science fiction and of course fantasy, but I also love biographies. With reading came a real interest in writing, in fact the picture of me above shows me as a really little kid writing a story. Well, that's really over stating things, I wasn't even in kindergarten yet when that picture appeared in the Warrensburg, Missouri paper. I used to take old calendars and draw stories in the little blocks, so I guess writing and telling stories actually came before I could read.

Typical teen years, school, sports, reading, writing and on my first day as a teenager I was introduced to the then fairly new game of Dungeons & Dragons. Now there was something I could sink my imagination and creativity into! And that was the first day that I began creating the world that I still write about 30+ years later.

So, teenager, work and chasing girls became important parts of life, the latter more passionately than the former but you needed the job to finance the chase. According to the government I've worked at something or another that paid since I was 14 years old. Walking beans, detassling corn, washing dishes, burning burgers, pumping gas, landscaping and construction. It all added up and kept at least a couple of coins jingling in my pocket now and then.

As a student my interests were writing, journalism and photo journalism, writing was pretty easy to accomplish but photography was a pretty expensive endeavour, cameras, equipment, film, chemicals and paper all cost a lot and I was coming up on a time when I wouldn't get to play with the school's goodies anymore. So, high school graduation brought on the big question. "Oh hell, now what?" The answer ultimately proved to be the next section of this little bio.

I enlisted in the United States Air Force in March 1984 because nobody else was really hiring or paying well at the time. I went to basic military training at Lackland AFB, Texas, and emerged a enthusiastic Airman Basic and after a stop at Chanute AFB, Illinois (if you can't shoot 'em, Chanute 'em) for training I was assigned to the PACAF Logistics Support Center (PLSC), Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan, assigned to the Jet Engine Intermediate Maintenance shop for F100, F110, J79 and TF34 engines.

In January 1987 I was a Senior Airman who fell head over heels for - and married - an Airman First Class named Kim. Then, in October of that year I was assigned as a Sergeant to Quality Assurance and Mrs Boothby left the Air Force, expecting our daughter Kasandra in March 1988.

PLSC deactivated in 1989 so I transferred to the 18th Component Repair Squadron’s Propulsion Flight. In 1990 I was promoted and entered the phase of my career I refer to as “permanent grade of Staff sergeant,” and was transferred to the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing Quality Assurance as a flight line and engine shop inspector supporting the F-15, F-16, A-10 and F-4 aircraft.

In 1991 the Boothby family was reassigned (after 7 years for me) stateside to Castle AFB, California to work on the KC-135A and 135R Strato-Tankers for the 693rd Organizational Maintenance Squadron, then 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, where I was one of the first technicians awarded the distinction of Certified Mechanic.

I cross-utilization trained into tasks from six other career fields encompassing nearly every aspect of tanker maintenance. This would also be my introduction to the Tanker Task Force and finally some decent TDYs taking me all over the world until Castle AFB was deactivated in 1995.

So, I followed the KC-135R training mission to Altus AFB, Oklahoma and the 55th Air Refueling Squadron for yet another round of TDYs before I moved to Training Flight to prepare incoming civilian engine technicians to replace military maintenance for the tanker training mission, continuing my trend of closing things down. You never saw anybody so happy to leave the state of Oklahoma as I was (well, my family was really happy too,) I didn't mind the state so much, and I knew some great people there, but Altus AFB and the 55th ARS were definitely low points in my memories.

My first real winter in years came when I signed into Mountain Home AFB, Idaho in January of 1997, assigned to the 34th Bomb Squadron and the B-1B Lancer (and more TDYs). In early 1999 I was assigned as a flight line expediter for 6 career fields and then that September I was promoted to Technical Sergeant, much to the relief of Mrs. Boothby and the amazement of everyone else (see permanent grade of staff sergeant.) In September 2001 I deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom, returning in early 2002 to find that I was closing yet another squadron as the 34th was relocated to Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.

I remained at Mountain Home, assigned in July to the 366th Component Maintenance Squadron’s Propulsion Flight as Section Chief for Module repair, holding this position until July 2003 when I moved to the 366th Maintenance Operations Squadron as Base Engine Manager.

Then things got even more interesting, in 2004 I was promoted to Master Sergeant and Engine Management Section Chief until late 2005 when I dodged a serious bullet and moved to the MOS Programs and Resources Flight as Flight Chief and Maintenance Group Deployment Manager.

This would be the last of the moves, by this point I was experiencing some fairly serious health problems and I decided that although the USAF would waiver me for those things I could no longer do, I didn't feel it was in either the best interest of myself or the Service to try and do my job when I knew I couldn't meet my own expectations of what I felt I needed to contribute. So, on April 1st, 2007, I retired from Active duty and moved on to the next phase of my life.

I now jokingly refer to my job title as starving writer, photographer and webmeister. It has to be a joke, I'm obviously not missing any meals. Anyway. As a disabled veteran I keep a pretty close eye on things that effect veterans, because lets face facts, Uncle Sam doesn't always like to own up to his responsibilities for things and people he messes up, so we all keep an eye on him. I also write a lot about fibromyalgia, because too many people that know nothing about it are doing it and somebody has to fix the misconceptions.

Retirement is part taking a lot of pictures, part writing and part tinkering with web sites, its just a busy time in general. I'm over halfway through the editing process of my first book. I'm working on an almanac for my writing and game world. I have this site, I'm also a founding member of the Fantasy Artists, Role Players and Writers Guild. My daughter and I created Red Zone Fandom and I'm putting in a lot of time as a fan photographer, you can see the fruits of those efforts at Red Zone Fan Photography. I sponsor and do technical support for sites for a few artist and writer friends. On top of all of that I opened an online store. In other words, I'm as busy as all get out. The nice thing is that when the going gets tough, I can go take a nap.

 

 

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This is the back cover from my retirement program, basically it covers the highlights of my career. Commands I served in, stripes I wore and aircraft and engines I worked over the years.