Pat, 72, has returned to the “all Healing Hands” of the Lord. Pat retired from the U.S. Army Special Forces having served in Germany twice, Thailand and multiple tours in Vietnam.
Pat was born September 18th 1938 in Tampa, a seventh generation “Cracker”. His eternal PCS was March 6th, 2011 at Mease Countryside Hospital. Pat fought a courageous battle with COPD for the last 8 years his final with the assistance of Hospice in his home.
Pat served with the 77th Special Forces Company, the 46th Special Forces Company and the 5th, 7th and 10th Groups. In Vietnam he was in III Corp and II Corp Mike Force, as well as MACV-SOG. He served as an instructor in the Advanced Training Committee teaching HALO, SCUBA, and Skyhook. He was a member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team that pre-dated what is now known as the Golden Knights. He was a member of the Trojan Parachute team in Bad Toelz, Germany in the 1950’s. He spent a tour at Ft. Carson, CO. on the Mountain Rescue Team and as a flight paramedic in the M.A.S.T Unit. While with M.A.S.T, he and his crew flew over 100 search and rescue sorties evacuating survivors of the Big Thompson Canyon flood that claimed 250 lives. They flew round the clock missions for 72 hours straight.
Before retiring, his final assignment was in Bad Toelz, Germany, running the Special Forces Europe Parachute Center. He was the Area Safety Officer and was responsible for organizing several international military free-fall competitions. He and his wife Joyce turned the Parachute Center into a “family” friendly center teaching dependents of the soldiers how to enjoy the sport of parachuting. In the two and a half years he ran the center there were no major injuries or fatalities because of his insistence on safety first.
After 20 plus years of service, Pat retired in 1979. Six months later he was in Dallas, Texas for a job interview with H. Ross Perot. He eventually was assigned as a bodyguard to the Perot family, but he finally decided the 80 to 90 hours a week was worth having a house and horses on one of Perot’s compounds.
During his military career he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 7 stars, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, Bronze Star with “V” device, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal with “v” device, He was also awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Master Parachutist Wings, Royal Thai Army Jump Wings, Scuba Diver Badge, Free-fall Jump Wings, Skyhook.