Farmer's Son, Military Career, College, and Post College
by Clarence E. "Kip" Vold
URLink Print & Media, LLC

"I grew up on the eastern plains of South Dakota about one-hundred miles west of Sioux Falls and fifty miles north of Nebraska."

This autobiography of a retired Air Force serviceman is told in nine chapters beginning with his early childhood on a small farm in South Dakota and continuing through an initial career as an Air Force Weather Service operator. Then he changes to "boom" operator (inflight refueling), followed by becoming a military training instructor. Missile wing operations in the Strategic Air Command round off his service of thirty years, with his final years at Beale Air Force Base in California and being promoted to CMSgt. He has served in Japan, Atlanta, South Dakota, California, and Thailand. After retiring, the author entered California State University in Chico and graduated with a degree in economics.

But these bare facts, while descriptive of his career, are not the entirety of the story. The writer has filled out these milestones in his career with reminiscences of his Norwegian heritage, his father, mother, and siblings. That his mother came from Norwegians settled in Wisconsin and his father from those settled in South Dakota made for a rather large retinue of closely-knit cousins. Clarence and his wife Mary's family spent a great deal of time visiting with all kinds of relatives all through the transfers, promotions, and overseas stations. There are also a large number of photographs, most reproduced in color, that introduce us to this rather large extended family.

While some of the military jargon and more technical aspects of air force operations can be challenging, they are not impenetrable. There are many heartfelt recollections that the author shares. His attachment and love for his pet German Shepherd Cindy is just one example. He is a keen observer of human behavior, and his insights into both military brass and raw recruit's behavior are very revealing and informative.

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