Veterans Voices’: Jack Filler

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When Valley Mills resident Jack Filler turned into growing up, he had “50 units of mother and father” to take care of him. A Fort Worth native, Filler, now 80, grew up in Penwell, Texas in an oil boom town with dad and mom who followed him when he was 1-month vintage. It becomes all a part of the Humble Oil Camp, in which people lived and raised their families until the late 1950s, while oil camps died out.
“I had 50 units of mother and father. I sincerely did,” Filler said. “I didn’t realize how covered we were.”
Filler graduated from Odessa High School in 1957 and went on to college at New Mexico A&M in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He transferred to TCU in Fort Worth and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 1963.
By this time, Uncle Sam was breathing down his neck, so he determined to sign up for the Air Force instead of going into the Army as an enlisted drafted guy. It turned into a very good move, and he graduated from Officer Training School as a 2nd lieutenant and renovation officer working on armament and electronics on the B-52.
“I went in for four years and got out 21 years later,” Filler said.
His first task became to Blytheville, Arkansas, where he spent three years. He described it as bland. Things begin to heat some while he was sent in 1967 to Jacksonville, Arkansas, to work at the Titan II missile. He was a combat team commander. However he transferred into Explosive Ordnance Disposal or EOD, as it’s far regarded. It was their activity to render all traditional, organic, nuclear or chemical guns safe, or “some thing that would blow up and hurt any person,” he stated. “When we’re completed with it, it doesn’t make paintings.” He led a group of 20 to twenty-five.
In 1970, things were given hot while Filler becomes deployed to Vietnam. His first eight months had been spent in Bien Hoa, where the men pulled alert obligation in groups of, for a complete of approximately five groups, working on broken aircraft or one that has ordnance that didn’t fully set up.
With the Army out within the subject, they stayed placed, however on occasion have been tasked with helping the Army with bomb and ordnance disposal. Most had been booby traps, he stated, which have been carefully blown up and rendered vain. It turned into dangerous work, however now not to Filler, who stated, “to us, there has been no risk – due to the fact we have been cautious.” No one worked alone.
He as soon as attended the scene of a crashed A-1 Sky Raider, which went down in Cambodia. Unfortunately, the pilot didn’t live to tell the tale. “I don’t like to recall,” he introduced. “We did that each day.”
Another time, it was “all fingers and the chefs” operating a crash that worried three airplanes. It becomes the handiest time he ever saw something like that.
Filler spent his previous few months in Phù Cát, right off the coast inside the center of South Vietnam. There, it became special. “We obtained heavy rocket assault there, and it blew our building to pieces,” he said. Thankfully, no one was harm, as they were all in dozing quarters. It also destroyed two vans.

 


By the time he returned from Vietnam, he became a captain and became stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. He spent 12 months there before he turned into deployed to Incirlik Air Base (common defense set up) in Turkey, which ended up being a honeymoon while he married Pamela Alsup right earlier than leaving.
Filler’s subsequent station become Dyess AFB in Abilene. Here he moved within the EOD on B-52s. He became then deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base, a NATO base in Germany, which changed into a splendid time in his lifestyles. He and his wife traveled often and visited Holland, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and different locations. “It changed into lovely,” he stated. “I by no means were given a terrible beer or a horrific meal over there,” he stated. Filler changed into there three years earlier than he became assigned to Holloman AFB in New Mexico. That becomes his last project. Not glad about the navy including months to his time inside the service, he determined to apply his previous two months of amassed depart to discharge honorably as a captain in 1983.
Filler got here to stay in Valley Mills, as his spouse’s loved ones have been there. He enrolled in TSTI, earning a diploma in the meals technology era. He labored for Denny’s however later worked for Allergan before retiring after ten years.
After 40 years of marriage, his wife handed away in 2012, and merely a final year, Filler married Alice Lumpkin. They marked their first anniversary Thursday.
“The last 12 months of my life I have in no way been happier,” Filler said.
He feels the impartial way about his military career.
“It turned into a satisfied time in my existence,” he stated. “I didn’t have a horrific venture.”