Glen A. Melton (age 67) retired Major from the U.S. Army, passed away on August 16 ,2008 at Select Specialty Hospital in Tallahassee, FL.
He was born in lsesburg, IL, was graduated from Valley Senior High in Fairview, IL and received a B.S. from Illinois State University and a master’s degree from BoHe was born in Galsesburg, IL, was graduated from Valley Senior High in Fairview, IL and received a B.S. from Illinois State University and a master’s degree from Boston University.
Major Melton had a warrior spirit but a humble and compassionate heart. He honorably served a tour of duty as an enlisted solider trained as a medical technician with the U.S. Army from 1962-64. In 1969 at the height of the Vietnam conflict, he volunteered for the most dangerous of jobs; a medevac pilot in combat. From 1970-71 he served as a platoon leader with the 498th Medical Company, flying the UH-1 “Huey” medevac helicopter.
In February of 1971 he was awarded the coveted Distinguished Flying Cross for his courage after he volunteered for a nighttime mission to rescue a badly wounded allied soldier. He turned on his aircraft lights so he could see the treetops and then, as he and his crew endured their enemies’ fire, hovered over the battle for fifteen minutes as his crew lowered a forest penetrator through the triple canopy jungle to retrieve the wounded soldier. During this first tour he also earned the coveted Combat Medical Badge.
He volunteered for a second tour to Vietnam as a medevac pilot and served again in 1972-73 as the executive officer and then commanding officer of the 237th Medical Detachment. During this tour he was awarded the Bronze Star. In addition to the awards already listed he was also awarded 23 air medals for valor and the Purple Heart.
After the Vietnam conflict ended he continued serving our country on the front lines of the Cold War. Stationed in West Germany, his luck with helicopters ended in June of 1976. While landing at his base hospital after transporting an injured soldier his medevac helicopter had an equipment malfunction which left it uncontrollable and the aircraft plunged 150 feet into the ground. He suffered a spine fracture and a permanent spinal cord injury which left him partially paralyzed. In 1977 after months of hospitalization he medically retired from the U.S. Army.
Refusing to let his horrific injuries restrict him he bought a travel agency and continued traveling the world and spending time with his family.
Glen was an active member of the DUSTOFF Association, the Distinguished Flying Cross Association and the FSU Boosters. He was a devoted fan of the FSU football and baseball teams. He also was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, an avid model builder and loved the theater and traveling.
On the evening of August 16, 2008, while sleeping with his daughter at his side, Major Melton entered his final battle with Death. The old soldier faded away. Those who knew him and his boundless courage and fighting spirit believe that Death came for him in his sleep, because it was afraid to try and call on him while he was awake.