Veteran Salute: Ret. MSgt. proud of her maintenance badge

Veteran Salute

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A retired Master Sergeant said her sister’s service inspired her, but since her sister was in the Navy, she enlisted in the Air Force.

Carol Loy said she didn’t know it at the time, but her husband asked her out the first time on a bet.

She said the two of them really hit it off, and since she was of age, she would buy him beers.

The two got married five weeks after they met.

“I mean it was so hot, I think I lost 20 pounds at basic training,” Retired MSgt. Carol Loy said.

Loy proved she could handle anything, when she survived basic training in Texas, in August.

“I didn’t want to be a secretary, I didn’t want to be a bookkeeper, and I didn’t want to do the traditional women’s job,” Loy said.

Loy wanted to be a mechanic.

“Behind us is some of the equipment we worked on,” Loy said.

Loy is very proud of her maintenance badge.

“Every base I went to, it was like I had to reprove myself, as being a technician,” Loy said.

She said sometimes she was the only female in the entire shop, and at one base was the highest-ranking female in the entire maintenance squadron.

“It was hard work, but it was enjoyable, I mean, you met a lot of people,” Loy said.

She still has a picture, with her husband Randy, while the two were still in tech school.

She said deployments were interesting, for both of them.

“I was home with, working 12, 14, or 16-hour shifts, at Lakenheath Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) Shop, and I had two kids, two little kids,” Loy said.

She said there was no down time, as they supported their comrades in Desert Storm.

“They took so many of them, there were only a few left at Lakenheath,” Loy said.

Loy said they were at one time stationed in Italy, and they were the only two Aerospace Ground Equipment Technicians, on the base, but they still found time to take it all in.

“We had a good sergeant, who took us around on some of the excursions, and different things to do, we went spelunking, and grape picking,” Loy said.

She said they had a lot of fun along the way.

“Flying on a lot of planes, there were some planes that we flew on, that we were in jump seats, and that is how we got from base to base,” Loy said.

She saw seven bases, and so many countries.

Loy retired after 22 years of service, and she was awarded the Meritorious Service Award.

“These are my ranks, throughout the years,” Loy said.

She said she is thankful she chose the maintenance track.

“It was a good job, it was and being we were in the same career field, all the time we were together,” Loy said.

From the start, the two have been inseparable, in life and in their long military careers.

They should have known when their love story started out, snowed in for their honeymoon, that they were in for one wild adventure ahead.

One of the Loy’s adventures took them to Washington, D.C., and they ran into a fellow veteran, at the Lincoln Memorial.

Randy walked up and thanked him for his service, and that’s when the man explained he was there on an Honor Flight.

The Loys were so inspired, when they returned to Kansas, they immediately signed up for the Kansas Honor Flight, and they continue to give of their time and talents.

If you would like to help the Kansas Honor Flight, take more veterans on an all-expense-paid trip, you can find more information, here.

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