Karre, Robert H.

Life Prior To USAF

I was a cowboy, ranch hand and farmer in the Sandhills of Nebraska until age 17. In February 1956 it was 30 degrees below zero in a north wind and I was out of a job. An Air Force blue sedan drove by (recruiter) and you know the rest of the story.

Enlisted Experiences

After basic training at Parks AFB in California I was sent to Keesler for air traffic control training. From there I went to Lowry AFB, Colorado and Chateauroux AB, France. In France my OIC, Captain Dell Toedt, talked me into taking the requisite tests for officer and pilot training. I passed both, was accepted and left France for 18 months of intensive remodeling.

Memories Of OCS

Beats me. I was in a daze throughout the process. Ask anyone.

Life After OCS

I went to pilot training at Laughlin AFB, Texas with subsequent flying tours at Laughlin, Southeast Asia and Randolph AFB, Texas. I have flown every airplane that begins with a T- plus the A-1 Skyraider and the O-2 Duck.

I did staff tours at Air Training Command, Tactical Air Command, plus USAFE and NATO. In the process I became an expert on joint operations at the grunt level resulting in 10 years of living on forts and casernes in the U S and Europe. My last two years were spent jumping out of C-130s, C141s and various helicopters while stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. This tour earned me the sobriquet, “One jump too many” Karre.

By then I was tired so I retired to San Antonio in 1987.

Present Life

I entered the public education battlefield and survived for eight years. During recovery I sold whisky to a discriminating public. I am now editor of a quarterly magazine for the Order of Daedalians and also serve the public in a variety of ways; City Councilman, member of the Board of a Economic Development Corporation and other civic endeavors. I and my wife, Janice, of forty years have three children, seven grandchildren and two dogs/two cats.

Future Plans

I’m beginning to think less is more—no matter where we land. But wherever life takes us I must reserve an hour or so a day to count my blessings and reflect on the alternatives—if that blue sedan hadn’t shown up on that cold day in Nebraska so many years ago.

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