Joseph S. Kricho

Profile Updated: July 3, 2012
Class Year: 1965
Residing In: Shelby Township, MI USA
Occupation: Retired Air Force
Military Service: USAF  
Parish Grade School:

St. Sebastian (Dellwood) & St. Adalbert's (Walnut Park)

Comments:

After graduation, I worked as a final assembly inspector on F-4 Phantoms and on the cockpit module for F-111's at McDonnell Aircraft.

Sensing Selective Service breathing down my neck, I joined the Air Force in 1966. I served in three different specialties: Communications; Missile Electronics; and Civil Engineering. I served at Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam from 1967-68, arriving just in time for the Tet Offensive. I left the Air Force in 1970 and went to work for Western Electric at 10th & Pine St. where I helped install the first Digital Switching Network (Touchtone) telephone system in St. Louis.

I returned to the Air Force in 1971 and ended up spending a total of 23 years and retired as a SMSgt in 1990. Along the way, I was assigned to a German base in West Germany; a British base in the United Kingdom; and a Naval Air Station in Iceland. I also had the pleasure of serving in temporary assignments to Thule AB, Greenland; Lajes Field, Azores; Kadena AB, Okinawa; and Andersen AFB, Guam, as well as numerous bases across the US.

The highlight of my career was a six year span at HQ USAF Civil Engineering where I traveled worldwide evaluating airfield pavements, and also was involved in research & development programs relating to airfield pavements.

I attended the NCO Leadership school where I was awarded the Commandant's award for Leadership; the NCO Academy where I was elected Class President even though I was the most junior member in the class; and the Senior NCO Academy where I graduated in the top 5% of the class. I am currently an active member in the American Legion; the VFW; the Vietnam Veterans of America; and the Tan Son Nhut Association.

After retirement, I work for several engineering firms in Panama City, FL. I was looking for a new experience, and since I liked to cook, I went to culinary school and graduated with a degree in Culinary Management. I worked in restaurants in Panama City Beach, Panama City, Mexico Beach, and Apalachicola, FL. I then moved to Michigan to help my brother with his Industrial Safety Consulting business. Tiring of that, I went back to being a chef at restaurants in Northville, West Bloomfield, and Mackinac Island, MI. I soon realized that I was getting too old to handle the stress and pressure of the restaurant industry. One of my other passions in life is gardening. I currently work at a large nursery here in MI selling trees and shrubs and have a side business doing landscaping.

I am planning on relocating back to the St. Louis area soon. In March 2009, my brother and I were in St. Louis to exhibit his auditing software at an Air Force training symposium on Environmental, Safety, and Occupational Health.

To those of you who served our country, thank you for your service. And to those of you who served in Vietnam (or any other conflict): Welcome Home!

School Story:

I don't have any one particular story that stands out. Yes there was the walk across the park to Wohl Center for swimming; the upper field of the park for PE; 'sliding' down the well-worn stairs in the school; Fine Arts Week; toting 7-8 textbooks on three diferent city buses to get back and forth to school. But what occurred in my life after graduation is what really stands out.

I attended college at the City Colleges of Chicago (certificate in Mid-Management); Dayton Community College (Fine Arts); University of Maryland (business & management); Panama City Community College (degree in Culinary Management and a minor in Journalism); Community College of the Air Force (degree in Electronics); and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (BS in Industrial Technology).

I couldn't help but notice that throughout all of this so-called higher education, one thought kept running through my mind. And that was: I have already learned most of this in High School!

Without question, the most formative years of my life were the four years I spent at William Cullen McBride High School!

I don't have any rings from any of the colleges I attended. The only ring I ever wore, and the one I treasured most, was my 1965 class ring from McBride. After I went in the Air Force, I thought that ring had been lost. In 2009, at a family reunion, I was presented with a shoebox that my mother had stored in the basement. Inside was my class ring, graduation photos, and my chenille letter. I now wear that ring with pride today.

McBride did more than teach and we did more than learn. We were educated.

ed?u?ca?tion
? ?/??d???ke???n/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [ej-oo-key-shuhn] Show IPA
–noun
1. the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

Thank you to the Society of Mary, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and to all of the other educators at McBride. I am forever in your debt.

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Apr 24, 2018 at 4:33 AM
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Apr 21, 2016 at 9:25 AM

Joe you have a birthday coming up and I hope you have a great day.

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