Soul of the Warrior
There are some commonalities between the soul of the American warrior and the soul of anyone else. He likes vacations and weekends, the beach and the mountains; he likes pay raises and prosperity. He appreciates good music, good movies, and decent TV. He clings to a high moral standard and he admires and respects others who do that. He loves his family and the United States of America. He believes that America is God's richest gift to the world in a thousand years. Like millions of his fellow citizens, he believes that it is worth defending and perpetuating. Where the two differ fundamentally is in the warrior's carefully deliberated decision to commit himself with all that he is to the protection of our country and our way of life. While millions of us are dedicated to preserving our society, we have chosen from among thousands of noble options to serve the great cause - options which do not carry the risk of life and limb like that chosen by the warrior. What is it about him that causes him to go the extra mile? One could argue that it is conviction above and beyond the norm that what we treasure must be protected and preserved, even if it costs him his life. That conviction is accompanied by courage, boldness, and profound confidence that he has the knowledge and the means to meet and accomplish his mission. The soul of the warrior is different; and that difference bears reflection by us all. Dick Jonas was born and raised in the Suwannee River valley of northern Florida. He served four years as an infantryman in the Georgia Army National Guard while attending Valdosta State College. Upon graduation in 1965 he entered the Air Force, receiving his commission through Officer Training School. In 22 years service he flew 3,000 jet fighter hours in the F-4 and F-16. During 125 missions in Vietnam he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with 12 clusters. After retirement from the Air Force, in 1986, he became an Aerospace Science Instructor in the Air Force Junior ROTC program. During 1991 and 92, in 325 performances he played the leading role in Guv: The Musical, a stage production of the Mill Avenue Theater in Tempe, Arizona. Dick retired from the teaching profession after 15 years of service, in June 2004. He is now a fulltime entertainer and music producer. His aim is to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of America's warrior musicians - The songs we sang about the planes we flew and the people we knew in the wars we fought. He is known as 'America's Foremost Military Aviation Song Writer and Balladeer.' He has produced nineteen albums of his kind of music, and published two books - RBAAB: The Red-Blooded, All-American Boy and PTF: Passing the Flame. The two books contain lyrics and war stories of the songs on his CDs. Dick is an actor, a writer, a guitar-player, a singer, and a businessman. He also flies. He and his wife, Mary, reside in Chino Valley, just north of Prescott, Arizona.