Join Living Your Best Life as we celebrate our military heroes' journeys before and after their service to our country. Hear from men and women who are sons and daughters; husbands and wives; fathers and mothers; grandparents; siblings; and loyal friends. Hear members of the Marines, Army, Air Force, and Navy share personal stories and highlights from their military careers. All have roles that made them the "first" in many endeavors throughout their lives and in the military. We will hear about their rarely discussed acts of courage and sacrifice that embody servant leadership that will empower, inspire, and motivate listeners.
On Saturday, June 22, 2013, tune in to hear from Rick DelaHaya, a USAF's "scope dope" who was the first enlisted controller to ever conduct an intercept over Russian airspace while simultaneously coordinating with air surveillance aircraft and ground control units. Listen as DelaHaya share highlights from working with two Commanders-in-Chiefs, President Clinton and President Bush. Hear him give us behind the scene details of coordinating communications on 9/11 with President Bush and the White House Press Corps from Barksdale AFB.
Rick will discuss life after being in the Air Force for over twenty years and how adjusting can be difficult if one is not focused and have support from family and community. Rick will share about his career options as a veteran and will give advice that is applicable to civilians and career military in transition. Rick also surprises us with his imitation of the Presidents he served.
Rick will be sharing his post military career experiences on a panel with other veterans at the Warrior Centric Healthcare Training in Nashville on July 9, 2013 at the Nashville Public Library. Ambassador Theodore Britton, Jr. will be the keynote speaker for the event.
Living Your Best Life Radio, radio that empowers, inspires, and motivates you to live your BEST life can be heard on 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In Radio, streamed live on the web at UStream.TV on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST and on military bases.
More About Rick DelaHaya
Rick DelaHaya enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1983 as an aerospace control and warnings systems operator. He had assignments in New Mexico, Honduras, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Alaska, Florida, and Louisiana. In 1991, he cross trained into Air Weapons Control where he was responsible for the flight control and intercepts of aircraft, including F-15, S1-16, F-117 fighter aircraft, B-2 and B-52 bombers, and KC-10 and KC-135 tanker aircraft. He was the first enlisted controller to ever conduct an intercept over Russian airspace while simultaneously coordinating with air surveillance aircraft and ground control units.
After 13 years as a “scope dope,” he cross trained into Public Affairs and had assignments at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, and the 8th Air Force Headquarters in Bossier City, Louisiana. He has interviewed two presidents, the Secretary of the Air Force and numerous Senators during his Air Force career. Some of the news events he has covered and been a part of include the E-3 Sentry crash in Anchorage, Alaska; the return of forces from Bosnia; and the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia and its recovery efforts. One of the most memorable was the devastating attack against the United States on September 11, 2001, when then President George Bush landed at Barksdale AFB and he delivered the president’s message to the world along with the White House Press Corps.
Rick retired in 2003, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant. He has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster, Good Conduct Medal with five oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, Air Force Longevity Award with 4 oak leaf clusters, and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Award with one bronze star.
After retirement, he held several Public Relations jobs with Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, Fort George G. Meade in Baltimore, Maryland, and Chimp Haven, the national chimpanzee sanctuary. Prior to his current position with Tennessee State University as Director of Media Relations, he served as the Marketing and Communications Director for Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, Louisiana, a position he held for more than four years.
Rick received his Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in sociology. He has been married for more than 25 years to his wife Terrie, who is also an Air Force retiree. They have three children; Tim, a 5th grade teacher in Louisiana; Sara, a junior at Louisiana State University; and Sam, who will be starting his freshman year at Station Camp High School.
Photo credits: John Cross, Genma Holmes, Rick DelaHaya, and USAF