In 1938, November 11th became a national holiday to pay tribute to American veterans and to give thanks to those who have served our country during wars and during peacetime. As of 2018, 18.2 million living veterans have served in at least one war as of 2018. Harrison County REC is proud to honor and recognize those who took the time to defend our beautiful country.
Tom Bothwell is no stranger to serving his community. He has been a member of the HCREC board of directors since 2016 and is now currently acting Board President at Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative. Tom is also a Vietnam veteran having served as an airman and was stationed in Korat Airforce Base in Thailand from May of 1967 to May of 1968. Like his father, who also served in the Air Force during World War II, Tom served as a jet engine mechanic working on F105 fighter planes.
He reflected on his experience in Thailand and shared his stories about living and working on the edge of the jungle, using block ice instead of refrigerators, the consistent run-ins with poisonous snakes, and the lack of instantaneous communication and hearing from his family and friends only through letters. He stated there were many times when his base received famous visitors including President Johnson, Bob Hope, and Raquel Welch. He even recalls being a mere 15 feet from Air Force One.
After his service in Thailand, Tom returned to the United States and was stationed in Las Vegas until his service was complete in 1969 and he then returned to Iowa and his family farm.
Veterans Day is a time to thank those who are serving or have served our great nation and Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative is honored to recognize our servicemen and women for their sacrifice. Today, and every day, we thank Veterans like Tom Bothwell and many others for their selfless contribution to our great nation.