Airman Rickie D O'Kelley USAF May 13 1972
I was 19 years old attending Air Force Inventory Management Specialist School at Lowry AFB in Denver Co. It was my first time away from home, before Air Force Basic Training I had traveled no more than 150 miles from my home and slept in a bed not my own less than a dozen nights. The US Air Force taught me how to be independent, how to make decisions for myself and it opened many doors in my life and making me into the person I am today. I thought at the time, when I was drafted and enlisted in the Air Force to avoid service in the US Army that my world had come to and end but the Air Force helped shape who I am and my service opened many closed doors. You can see the gleam of my Capt Arthur Ecklund bracelet under the cuff of my shirt on my right arm but you can also see my National Defense Service Ribbon and a Small Arms Ribbon on my uniform. My TI gave several of us Small Arms Ribbons and I remember getting to keep my target but that ribbon never made it on my records so I had to take it off at Lowry AFB and I never wore it again. Wasn't a big deal and I never challenged it. My address was 3435 St Sq PSC Box B3467 Lowry AFB Co.