Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran John Alfred Ringhofer, who served as a teletype cryptographic equipment repairman.
John Alfred Ringhofer was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, in September 1945. He enlisted in the Air Force after attending college.
After completing basic training, he went to technical school to become a teletype cryptographic equipment repairman and spent 48 weeks at the Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. He graduated first in his class from technical school and became an instructor of electronics, instead of serving in Vietnam. Ringhofer also played on the Air Force’s fast-pitch softball team. After spending four years as an electronics instructor, he was about to leave the service. However, when the major in charge of the Air Force Sports Program asked him to stay on, Ringhofer agreed, but with the stipulation that he receive an assignment to Hawaii.
His second assignment was a four-year stint in Hawaii. He worked as the supervisor of cryptographic maintenance. The Vietnam War ended two years into his time in Hawaii. He then transitioned to work on Project Blue Book, where the Air Force studied UFOs. In addition, while stationed here, Ringhofer got married and had both his children.
After leaving Hawaii, he continued his service in Washington, D.C. He was the supervisor of cryptographic maintenance for Air Force One, the presidential aircraft. Although he never flew on Air Force One, meeting President Gerald Ford and President Jimmy Carter were two of the most memorable moments of his time in the service.
After over 12 years in the service, Ringhofer left in November 1979 as a technical sergeant, receiving a Meritorious Service Medal. He also earned his bachelor’s degree as well as two master’s degrees while in the service.
Ringhofer began working at Telex Communications as the manager of communications in Atlanta, Georgia, for two years and in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for another two years. He then moved back home to Evergreen, Illinois, to help his father with the family printing business.
While in Illinois, he worked for the regional transportation authority as the senior management analyst before working as the director of customer support for a telephone systems company in Illinois and parts of Indiana and Wisconsin. He later promoted to be the manager of national accounts.
He later worked as a patient advocate at the VA Healthcare Chicago facility at Lakeside.
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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: Katherine Berman
Editor: Rachel Falconer and Julia Pack
Fact checker: Bhaavana Oruganty
Graphic artist: Faith Kauhn