Chief Master Sergeant (Ret.) Tom Nurre began his Air Force career May 22, 1961, enlisting as a Morse Code Intercept Operator.
Immediately after, two of his brothers were drafted into the Army. To keep his brothers out of the war zone, Nurre volunteered to go to Thailand during the Vietnam War at an air base near Nakhon Phanom. This was possible due to a regulation that stated only one son from a family could serve in a war zone at a time. During his time in Thailand, Nurre gathered intelligence while airborne and created reports sent to commanders in Southeast Asia. “The war I saw was from 8,000 feet,” he said.
Later he served as a commandant for the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, and as the Chief of Air Force Enlisted Professional Military Education while at the Pentagon. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters.
After 33 years of service, Nurre retired from the Air Force June 1, 1994. He lives with his wife Carletta in San Angelo, Texas, and has three children; Betsy, Tom and Ginny. Nurre was recently involved in funding and collecting memorabilia and for an Airborne Radio Direction Finding History Exhibit at Goodfellow Air Force Base, commemorating the 6994th Security Squadron and the mission supported during the Vietnam War.