NEWS FROM THE HUT by John Hamilton
This is information that I wish I did not have to report. Gary Lanham, a member of the American Legion Hominy Post 142 for the past nine years, passed away on Friday, March 12, 2021 at 12:45 AM. Gary was also a former Hominy city manager just prior to our current city manager, Jimmie Ratliff. During Gary’s time with Post 142, he participated as the 2nd Vice Commander and the Post Historian. As the Post Historian, Gary contributed to the creation of the very first Post 142 History Book that won first place at the 2018 Department of Oklahoma Summer Convention. Gary also transferred from Squadron 131 Sons of the American Legion in Skiatook, OK to Squadron 142 in Hominy in 2019. Gary has been an especially important member of Squadron 142 involving himself strongly in the organization and planning of multiple outings to various military bases and memorials. Gary has also been a very longtime writer of this article, News from the Hut. Gary will be deeply missed by all his Veteran buddies at The Hut. Last week Gary’s funeral services were held on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the Powell Funeral Home located on Wood Avenue. A graveside service was held on Monday, March 22, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the National Cemetery in Ft. Gibson.
Gary Lanham joined the USAF 1973, taking Basic Training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio TX. Technical training followed at Lowry AFB, Denver Colorado, as a weapons systems loader. After a three-month Chemical EOD course at Redstone Army Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, he was assigned to March AFB California in the SAC command (Strategic Air Command) loading B-52 bombers. Gary was transferred to the USAF Reserves at Tinker AFB in the 507th TAC (Tactical Air Command) loading F-105 Thunder Chiefs. During the rest of his career, he served in the Oklahoma Air/Army National Guard in the 45th Aviation Battalion, 205th Engineering Installation Squadron, 137th Airlift Wing, 138th Fighter Wing, and the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron. At the 219th he was Chief of Wire Section, Chief of Electronics, Chief of QA, and Chief of Engineering. During his twenty-nine plus years he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management as well as a graduate degree in Organizational Management. He contributed to the mentorship of countless airmen and young officers. His awards and decorations number 18 with many clusters from USAF Meritorious Service to Oklahoma Meritorious Service. His last few years were served as a traditional guardsman allowing him to begin and retire from AT&T as a senior project manager with a professional certification (PMP) over military/government site projects. After a brief stint as Hominy City Manager, he returned to retirement helping with county and community volunteer efforts.
Rest in peace, Gary.
Until further notice, our regular Legion meeting will be the third Thursday of each month. Due to current weather issues, our next meeting will be on Thursday, April 15th at 7:00 PM. The Sons of the American Legion meetings have been suspended until further notice, depending on the future COVID-19 situation. All dinners have been cancelled until further notice. The Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings have been resumed at 8:00 AM. If you are a veteran, come by for our monthly meeting, and/or the Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings. Several of the Post 142 members meet on Wednesday’s at Bucks Eats and Treats for coffee and breakfast around 8:00 AM. If you have a good story, it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at the Post 142 website “americanlegion142.org” and Hominy Legion on Facebook.