for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>>by Gary Lanham
Finding treasure in your own backyard is common in Hominy, Oklahoma. They are your Hometown Heroes. Men and women who at one point of their life raised their right hand and swore an oath to defend with their lives the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I have the privilege of hanging around these heroes most every Monday morning with breakfast, before speeding off to my real job.
I had the distinct honor to meet a new one recently, who though a member of the Post, I had not met due to his hectic travel schedule. Polly Frazier mentioned I may want to meet Joe Breedlove at some point to experience the personification of humility fused with ultimate confidence. I saw this in Joe Breedlove. He and his delightful wife Sherri spent a few moments with me as I drew out information to paint a picture of a patriot and his wonderful family.
I learned Joe joined the Navy in 1985 after graduating OSU as a cadet at the AOCS (Aviation Officers Candidate School). He went on to serve as a fighter pilot with the unique skill my former USAF jet jockeys would cringe at, landing on aircraft carriers. He served at numerous stations including Oceana VA, Naval Air Stations Ft Worth and Atlanta GA, then back to Oceana. His aircraft resume included the F-14 and F-18. He completed his career in 2001, but continued to serve in a different capacity.
He began a second career working for ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company) training Navy, Marine, Air Force, and Army air crews, ship crews, and Combat Controllers. This is the only civilian organization approved to train the elite U.S. Navy’s Fighter Weapons School also known as TOPGUN. Sweeping away visions of Tom Cruise and Goose, you will find that this is the most challenging school of hard knocks for the young, best of the best combat pilots to graduate from. The aggressor opponent they have to learn from and overcome is our local boy Joe Breedlove. To make it simple, Joe trains them to adapt, improvise, and overcome. He trains them to win and live. When he is not flying missions in the Florida Keys or in Tokyo, you will find him on Main Street Hominy, in the NAPA Auto Parts Store, helping customers as he has for the past three years. After he retired from the military he came home and took over the family farm and called Hominy home and owns the NAPA store. Sherri is active in the Chamber of Commerce, and seeing then together you realize how much they complement each other.
I think the point of my rambling is you never know the treasures that surround you. You come and go with all the immediate important things, as Stephen Covey would have called the “Tyranny of the Urgent” and to gain the common we sometimes miss the precious. Hominy is a goldmine.
Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 1900 hours (7:00 PM) and our Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings over biscuits and gravy (or waffles) where we keep up on each other’s mischievous doings run generally from 7 am to 9 am if it “ain’t” freezing.