Veterans Day is next week when we remember the duty that thousands have performed for the protection of the country. One of those veterans is Scott O’Grady, who started his military career in Texas, “training at the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program at Sheppard Air Force Base from November 1989 to December 1990. He was then assigned to F-16 pilot training at Luke Air Force Base until December 1991, when he began his first operational assignment flying the F-16 at the 80th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, Korea. In April 1993, Captain O’Grady was reassigned to the 526th Fighter Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany, until assuming a position in May 1994 with the 555th Fighter Squadron in Aviano, Italy. In October 1995, he was assigned as an F-16 pilot with the 466th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. In July 1998, he was assigned to a joint survival agency at Fairchild Air Force Base. After 12 years of military service Captain O’Grady entered inactive reserve status in February 2001, having accumulated more than 1,300 military flying hours, including over 1,000 hours in the F-16.”
In 1995, O’Grady made international headlines. While enforcing the NATO no-fly zone policy over Bosnia, his F-16 was brought down by a missile. For days he was presumed dead or captured by Bosnian Serbs. Somehow he managed to survive living off the land and avoided capture. Thanks to his high-tech signaling device and Marines, he was rescued.
But he didn’t stop with a “Whew!” O’Grady went on to write Return With Honor about his ordeal. The book ended up on The New York Times bestseller list for six weeks.
On Friday, November 11, he’ll be the featured speaker at the annual Salvation Army’s “Doing to Most Good Luncheon” at the Hilton Anatole.