Veteran Salute: Soldier/Airman saw the world

Veteran Salute

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A veteran, who now calls Wichita home, says he volunteered to serve so he could go to Alaska.

He was able to accomplish that lifelong goal, and he saw much more of this country and the world in the process.

Raymond Whited’s father served in the Air Force during the Korean War, and his brothers also served, so that’s why he knew it was important to sign up.

The days have slowed down some for now retired Veteran Raymond Whited.

“I volunteered for all kinds of stuff,” Whited said.

That took him near and far with the Air Force.

“After 11 months in Saudia Arabia, Turkey was like heaven,” Whited said.

Deployments also allowed him to see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and beyond.

“I got to see these places, I went to London, I went to Amsterdam, we went to the town, to the places, and took tours and it was real cheap,” Whited said. “The USO had all these tours they could get us on.”

As the Vietnam War was raging overseas, Whited said he and other airman were right here at home, ensuring the financing was in place to keep the war effort funded.

After a long stent in the Air Force, Whited decided to look into the other branches, and said he knew the Navy wasn’t for him.

“I was a desk sergeant, sat behind a desk and I didn’t think I would make that good of a Marine, so I joined the Army,” Whited said.

He said when he went to basic training again, he was 35 years old.

“I had stress fractures in my knees, I had blisters that big covering my whole heel, they had to photograph it because they had never seen it,” Whited said.

He survived and went on to retire from the service after dedicating more than two decades.

“I knew I would be getting education, medical benefits, and I got the benefits of travel and I did,” Whited said.

He said he would do it all over again, for the American flag he served.

“Military for life, there’s no other way,” Whited said.

He said he was hoping to have the same job in the Army, but they wanted to cross train him as a clerk typist.

He said he told them, I do not type, but I can work a 10-key adding machine like a whiz, so finance and accounting was where he stayed.

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