Published October 14, 2016
Master Sgt. (Ret.) John Lukens, joined the U.S. Air Force in 1963 at the age of 19. In 1964, Lukens deployed to Vietnam for the first time as one of the first airmen on the ground. This was the first of three tours that Lukens accomplished in Vietnam. After retiring from the Air Force in 1990, Lukens spent 10 years working with the Red Cross on Moody Air Force Base, Ga., before the program was transitioned off of the base. While at the Red Cross Lukens had the opportunity to work with Vietnam veterans and was able to help them with the struggles they faced coping with post-traumatic stress disorder. During his Air Force career Lukens served at Cannon AFB, N.M.; Myrtle Beach AFB, S.C.; Duluth AFB, Minn.; Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; Macdill AFB, Fla.; Peterson AFB, Colo.; and Athens, Greece. He worked on the life support systems of the F-100 Super Sabre, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-104 Starfighter, A-7D Corsair II and the A-10 Thunderbolt II. Today, Lukens enjoys woodworking projects, going to the gym and helping where he can in the community. For the past 29 years, he has also portrayed Santa Claus during the holidays for Moody AFB.