Ben Wright was born on July 25, 1946, and he was raised in Texas’s Big Bend country, where he and his siblings grew up in 1950s America. Ben graduated high school in 1964, as American involvement in Vietnam was beginning to escalate. Knowing the draft board would soon be after him, Ben opted for the air force, and his training and commission prepared him for roles in southeast Asia and elsewhere. Ben flew many types of aircraft and was also a flight instructor during this time, before being deployed to the Vietnam region, where he flew mainly out of the Philippines and Thailand. By this time Ben was flying the C130, doing support missions as needed in the region. This included a number of refugee flights in 1975 as the United States withdrew from the region. He returned to the United States shortly after this, where his air force career began to take on new directions. After a number of postings in the south, Ben went overseas again, this time to Europe, where he was stationed in Germany and flew missions in support of NATO. It was an exciting time, and Ben was in Germany in 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down. Ben was still stationed in Germany when Operation Desert Shield and Storm took place, and the Bitburg Air Base was at the center of that conflict too. He would retire a few years later, going on to serve a different calling – that of an ordained minister. Crestwood students were fortunate to do a zoom session with Ben in December 2021, and we thank the Veterans’ Breakfast Club for their ongoing support!
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