Paul W. Dunning

Veterans in Blue 2017

Retired Master Sgt. Paul W. Dunning poses for a photo for the Air Force's Veterans in Blue 2017 series, May 9, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Dunning has worked in maintenance career fields for 33 years in both the civilian and military sectors. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Janiqua Robinson)

Paul W. Dunning received his draft notice in October 1968 and had full intentions of joining the Marine Corps. However, upon registration, he was persuaded by a recruiter to join the Air Force where he began his military career as a tactical aircraft maintenance specialist. In 1972 he volunteered for a tour in Thailand where he crewed the F-4D which participated in Operation Linebacker II, a bombing campaign over North Vietnam. In 1973 he turned down a $20,000 re-enlistment bonus, separating to become a machinist near his hometown. In 1982 he re-entered the Air Force and crewed the A-10 for the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at England Air Force Base, Louisiana. For the next 10 years, Dunning participated in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm at King Fahd International Airport and King Kalid Military City, Saudi Arabia, respectively. Dunning retired as a master sergeant in 2002 and continued crewing aircraft as a civilian, a job he continues to this day. Over the years, the uniforms and names of the company have changed, but the job Dunning does has remained the same. He’s been crewing aircraft for 33 years and wouldn’t have it any other way.