It is our honor and privilege to care for many of the men and women who so bravely served in the U.S. Armed Forces. In each Autumn Leaves® community, you will find a Wall of Honor featuring the photos of our resident Veterans. The wall serves as a daily reminder of their service and sacrifice for the United States of America. This Veterans Day, we expand the Wall of Honor to include an online “Virtual Wall”, allowing people near and far to join us in celebrating these heroes. In sharing their military stories, we continue to honor our residents’ impressive accomplishments and acts of bravery. These unsung heroes fought for us in our time of need; now we fight for them as they face their toughest battle yet.
Bob’s pilot training in the Navy paved the way for a long and distinguished career with both Delta Airlines and Boeing. Known for his selfless spirit and having seen more of the world than many could dream to in many lifetimes, Bob has a strong appreciation for everyone he meets.
Ted has led a life of excellence. He received dozens of commendations for his service to his country. He is a veteran of the Korean War and in 1960 was promoted to USAF Command Pilot, ultimately earning Lieutenant Colonel status. As Thai Liason for the United States, he was also awarded The Most Noble Order of the Crown from Thailand.
Don was an outstanding athlete in his youth, playing many sports throughout the years and was an All-Conference starter in football for the Pittsburg State Gorillas under legendary PSU coach, Carnie Smith. He also loves fishing and was even a BassMaster for several years. Don proudly served in the Korean War in the field artillery division.
Henry exemplifies the qualities we celebrate each Veterans Day; courage, integrity, and a love for life and service. He joined the Navy and served aboard several different submarines throughout World War II. After the war, he received his Master’s in Education and taught for over 30 years. He has never lost his love for the ocean.
Nathaniel and Mattie Jean both had esteemed careers in the military sector. Jean worked as a Civil Service employee while Nat proudly served in the military, making it his life-long career. They have been married for 55 years, and were very involved in their church back in Virginia. They brought their love of singing to Autumn Leaves of Stockbridge, and even helped form a choir with other residents!
Ray attended the FAA Academy where he was trained to be an Air Traffic Controller. He later joined the Air Force for 4 years and eventually retired from a distinguished 29 year career with the FAA. He is a passionate Notre Dame football fan, and also served on the voluntary ski patrol in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, New Mexico.
Kermit proudly served during World War II with the US Marines. After the war, he went on to work for Oklahoma Natural Gas for 38 years until he retired. Kermit enjoys helping with the gardening at Autumn Leaves of Edmond and is the first to tell you “the frog was named after me!”
Jack’s life was set to a fine tune at a young age when he won a trip to New York City to participate in a talent contest where he demonstrated his very convincing bird whistle! He proudly served his country for 6 years in the Navy and spent 25 years after his military service selling fabric to quilt shops all over the world.
Colonel Jack was born in Danville, IL, and married his high school sweetheart, Sharon, in 1954. Jack enlisted in the Navy in 1963. While serving in the Navy, he ran a Military Hospital and was Chief of Logistics for several years before retiring in 1987. Jack and Sharon both bring joy to the Autumn Leaves of Stone Oak community!
Shelby is a true ambassador in every sense of the word. He was a Chaplain in the US Air Force and is now the resident Chaplain at Autumn Leaves of Meyerland. He loves to greet visitors at the door, always looks out for the welfare of his fellow residents, and makes an effort to share his upbeat attitude with them.
Charlie was a Vietnam Air Force Pilot, based in Thailand. He flew hundreds of missions, which were all Black Ops and highly secretive. He began his military career in the Texas Air National Guard. Charlie’s unit was activated in 1950 and he served in the US Air Force in Korea and Japan during the Korean War.
JC was a US Marine radio controller stationed at the Pacific base Peleliu during World War II. One night a bomber pilot radioed in that he’d taken heavy enemy fire and his guidance system had been destroyed. JC sprang into action and guided the pilot and his crew back safely. JC is considered a hero not only to the crew he saved that day, but also to countless others for keeping the bomber out of enemy hands.
Dave McKenna grew up in Lowell, MA. He spent 20 years in the Air Force as an officer, including 2 years in the Philippines. He married Judy Hitchcock in 1963 and together relocated to Alaska. Many years later, Dave moved to Oklahoma City, OK. There he taught accounting at a Community College for 30 years until his retirement in 2006.
John R. Keil, Jr., logged more than 40 missions as a fighter-bomber pilot flying P-47 Thunderbolts for the 397th Fighter Squadron, also known as the “Jabo Angels”, 368th Fighter Group. He is always eager to share his war stories, especially his harrowing experiences as a survivor and a ruthless fighter pilot. We are humbled by his experiences and honor his impressive legacy.