Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bob Carpenter today will have a reunion in Punta Gorda, Florida with his Air Force buddy from the Vietnam Days. That’s 50 years ago!

Writes Kent State graduate and former Kent radio veteran Bob:

“TODAY IS A VERY SPECIAL DAY FOR ME. My long-time USAF buddy I haven't seen or heard from in 50 YEARS is flying from Nebraska for a 5 day visit.”

Explains Bob:

Dennis Maki “found me on Facebook several weeks ago and we made contact. The three of us were in the USAFSS as Intelligence Analysts (202's) and were together in San Antonio, San Angelo, Crete and DaNang. The Koz passed away March 2014.”

Bob served in Vietnam twice, in DaNang and in Saigon. He lives in Punta Gorda with wife Kaye.

Bob was news director of WKNT on May 4, 1970, a day which will go down in infamy at Kent State because the Ohio National Guard killed four students and wounded nine others.

He moved to Maui in the mid-70s and worked in radio and public relations before moving to Florida. He retired from his job as Public Information Officer of the Charlotte County, Florida sheriff.

For years Bob and wife Kaye personally delivered  Christmas gifts to hundreds of challenged children in Beijing, China; Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Quito, Ecuador.

Bob served in Vietnam twice, in DaNang and in Saigon. Wife Kaye purchased a brick with Bob’s name it that was placed at the Kiwanis Veterans Garden in Laishley Park, Punta Gorda, Florida. It is next to the Vietnam Veterans brick memorial.

Last winter Paula and I had a reunion with Bob and Kaye in Sarasota. As Bob explained:

“Paula and I go way back to our Kent State University days. She married Jeff Tucker in the early 1970s. Jeff and I worked together as KSU broadcasting students at WKSU and the commercial station WKNT in Kent, Ohio. Unfortunately Jeff died unexpectedly after we graduated.

“Paula and I have been friends all these years . . . we both were there and experienced the Kent State shootings May 4, 1970.”

In December 1965, this photo was taken as the Air Force buddies are about to leave DaNang, Vietnam. In the photo: Bob Carpenter on the left, Dennis Maki (with the hat) and Rich "The Koz" Kozlowski is sitting.


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