Charlevoix County Veteran of the Month: Garry Lee Whitaker

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Garryt L. Whitaker
Garry L. Whitaker

The Veteran of the Month of December 2015, is Garry Lee Whitaker.

Born on January 9,1936 in Ann Arbor Michigan, to Glessner and Winifred Richards Whitaker. Garry quit school in the 9 th grade, and completed his GED while in the Army.


Prior to entering Military Service, he was a farmer, student, and worked at Galmores service station in East Jordan.

On August 20, 1955 in East Jordan,, he married his sweetheart, Patrica Ann Carney, who proceeded him in death on September 18,1981.

In February 1956, Gasrry entered Military Service and received Basic, Infratry, and Airborne Training, Qualifing Expert with the M-16 Rifle, .45 caliber and .38 caliber pistols. Departing the United States, he would complete overseas duty during the Korean conflict, and in Europe.

After his second re-enlistment, Whitaker received his Officers Commission, and completed pilot training in light aircraft, and helicopters.

After completing 2 tours in Vietnam as a helicopter Gunship Pilot he returned stateside to Fort Rucker, Alabama to become and Helicopter pilot instructor.

Garry retired from Military Service in 1976 after 20 years 9 days of honorable Military Service, at the rank of Chief Warrent Officer (CW2) and received the following decorations and commendations: National Defense Service Medal; Army of Occupation Medal (Germany); Vietnam Service Medal; Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal; Vietnamese Gallentry Cross with Palm; Good Conduct Medal; Air Medal; Purple Heart Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Distinguished Flying Cross; Distinguished Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Senior Army Aviation Badge.

After retirement, Garry and Pat moved back to East Jordan, where he continued farming and started a lawn-care Service business in Florida.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Ozark, Alabama. He loved ranching, fishing,flying , baking bread, Karate and spending time with his family.

On July 21, 2006 at his home in Deltona Florida, Garry Lee Whitaker answered the final call and is being honored by his children: Debbie,Ron,Patrica, Angela, and their families.