Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Thomas Frederick Seebode, who served as a pilot from 1960 to 1987 and earned a Silver Star.
Thomas Seebode grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and graduated from Messick High School. After graduation, Seebode attended the United States Air Force Academy and graduated in 1960 as a member of the second graduating class. Upon graduation, he commissioned as an officer and started pilot training.
Throughout his 27-year career, Seebode flew the T-33, T-37, O-1, C-141, C-5 and C-135 airframes. Seebode’s positions included serving in worldwide flying and ground operations and command pilot. He also served as a senior personnel analyst and congressional liaison.
During his time as a pilot, Seebode flew as a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam and logged over 576 combat sorties in his career. Among his missions were airlifts from Jonestown, Guyana and aiding in the evacuation of Americans from Iran after the Shah fell in 1979. Some of Seebode’s other notable services included fighting in the Bay of Pigs and serving in South Korea in a joint position with the U.S. Army. Seebode was also a professor of aerospace studies at the Virginia Military Institute.
Seebode earned a Silver Star during service in the Vietnam War. In addition to a Silver Star, Seebode received two Legions of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star and six Meritorious Service Medals.
In addition to achieving his Bachelor of Humanities and Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an MBA in Personnel Administration and Finance from The Ohio State University, Seebode received his Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Public Administration and International Relations. Subsequently, Seebode retired as a tenured associate professor at Troy University.
Seebode passed away in August 2015. He is survived by his childhood sweetheart and wife, Carol; his two daughters, Elizabeth and Jennifer; and four grandchildren, Alexander, Rebecca, Taylor and Sarah. Friends remember him for his integrity, courage and commitment to family and country.
We honor his service.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Kristen Reece