Today’s Word: ‘Veteran’ as in… Gene Gauche. Thank you for your service, dad!

Gene Gauche was born for adventure.

From his birth onward through his formative years in Lisbon, North Dakota, his 26 years as a Navy pilot, and on into the rest of his life, Gene loved the sense of discovering whatever was around the next corner. This was most evident in the fact that in his 62 years of marriage and life together with his wife Joyce, the two of them moved nearly forty times making a home wherever they were, including Coronado, California, Morocco, Africa, Beverly, New Jersey, Oak Harbor, Washington, Los Osos, California, Green Valley, Arizona, Edmonds, Washington, and Sun City West, Arizona, along with several summers on Lake Sallie, Minnesota. Gene and Joyce were married for 62 years before Joyce died in 2006 in Sun City West, Arizona.

That’s a lot of adventure.

Gene was active in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict. Over the years he flew 14 different aircraft, was an instructor in the Hercules C-130 at Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force Bases in New Jersey and Wold Chamberlain Field known today as Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. Among Gene’s many accomplishments during his 26 years in the United States Navy, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight); the Presidential Unit Citation (for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy). Gene was also awarded the Air Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters.

Gene retired from the United States Navy on July 31, 1968 as a Lieutenant Commander.

Gene’s life was full and rich and he reveled in every role in life as a husband, father, pilot, hunter, musician, private and commercial real estate broker, private and commercial fisherman, a golfer (with a hole-in-one to his credit), a tennis player (with a state championship), a grandfather, a great-grandfather and a friend.

Gene was also known as a veteran.

And for that, today, and every day, I say, “Thanks for your service, dad!


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