“I didn’t volunteer for the military. I drew a very low draft number and the next day the drafts board called me and said ‘you won the lottery’. It was the only lottery I ever won. But I did get free flying lessons and a trip to Vietnam out of it.”
That’s how Steve Pearce describes the beginning of his military career.
“My time in the military, even though it wasn’t part of my original plan, is one of the most important in terms of shaping who I am today. I taught me the function of the military in detail and how important our men and women in the armed service are to our state and nation.” I know first-hand what we are asking of our soldiers when we send them into combat. You cannot learn that from a book.
“It also taught me a lot about myself. Truth is, I was afraid of flying. I was more afraid of Vietnam and I learned a lot about myself and how each of us can rise to be better than we imagine.” Pearce continued.
During the Vietnam War, Steve Pearce served as a combat pilot. He flew over 518 hours of combat flight and 77 hours of combat support.
For his service, Steve Pearce was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Air Medals, as well as seven other military medals and four exceptional service awards.
After the war, Steve continued service at Blytheville Air Force Base in Arkansas, and attained the rank of Captain.
In Congress, Steve Pearce has been an advocate of making sure promises made to veterans and active military are kept. He has been a consistent supporter of our military and is working hard to fix the disgraceful problems with the VA.
“When I came home from Vietnam, I was appalled at how our services members were treated. That’s why I have worked so hard, and will continue to make sure, that our men and women serving today are given the support they need when they come home,” said Steve Pearce.
Recently, Pearce found another way to honor America’s Veterans. In his solo around the world flight, he stopped at airbases and left memorials to those who served.