John enlisted in the Army in 1972 and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant before returning to NC State University and receiving his commission via ROTC in 1978. He served as an Air Defense, Infantry, and Special Forces officer in the U.S., Africa, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. After retirement, he had a second career with the CIA, serving in the U.S., U.K., Latin America, the Middle East, Central Europe, and multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. John continues to do contract work for the USG and lives with his wife, Donna, and the family dog, Chelsea, on the side of a mountain in Waynesville, NC.
Senior Advisor / Blue Ridge Honor Flight Coordinator
Rick graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and was commissioned in 1978. His career spanned 34 years in the Air Force, flying C-5s, KC-135s, and several other aircraft. He retired as a major general in 2012 as the Air Force’s director of operational planning, policy, and strategy at the Pentagon. In retirement, Rick works part time as a consultant, is an Air Force Adjunct Contract Professor, and serves on the boards of several civic and veterans organizations. He and his wife live in Asheville.
Surviving Spouse Liaison
Nancy is a retired Episcopal priest, currently assisting at All Souls Cathedral in Asheville. She lives at Deerfield Retirement Community. She is an Army widow. Her husband, Captain Walter R. McCarthy, Jr., while serving as an advisor, was killed in Viet Nam in 1962. "Mac" was a VMI graduate.
Jeff had 30 years of operational aircraft maintenance experience with extensive expertise in tactical aircraft maintenance. He commanded three maintenance squadrons and a maintenance group. After retirement in 2008, Jeff became a consultant for a large defense contractor, where he provided in-depth assessments of maintenance operations. Jeff and his wife, Paula, live in north Henderson County, NC
Donna graduated from Texas Women’s University in 1980 with a BS in Occupational Therapy (OT). She was a practicing therapist when she received a direct commission into the USAF in 1985, serving in the U.S. and Germany and leaving the service in 1992. She retired from OT after a 23-year career in 2003, worked briefly for the Department of State and had a second career with the CIA 2005-2016, serving in the U.S., the U.K., Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. She now lives with her husband and family dog, Chelsea in Waynesville, NC.
Ty attended UNC at Chapel Hill and was commissioned via ROTC into the Army in 2006. While in both construction and sapper units he served two tours in Afghanistan. In 2015, he departed from active duty, and joined Edward Jones as a financial advisor. He continued his military service in the NC ARNG until retirement. Originally from Reidsville, NC, he now makes his home in Hendersonville, NC with his wife, three kids, and two dogs.
Immediate Past President
Mike attended Tufts University on a ROTC scholarship graduating in 1961 with a degree in Civil Engineering. After a short tour on a surface ship, he served aboard the nuclear submarines USS Woodrow Wilson, USS Sunfish, USS Ulysses S. Grant, and USS Sand Lance, also serving as nuclear power instructor, Department Head SSBN Security OP-2, Commander Submarine Squadron 22, and Commanding Officer Submarine Training Facility Charleston, SC. He retired in 1991 and worked in nuclear power plants for 10 years. He now enjoys life in Flat Rock, NC, with his wife and border collies.