Gary Schisler of Moon Township, Pennsylvania served in the United States Air Force from 1969 to 1999. Lt. Col. Schisler flew C-130 air transports throughout his career while on active duty and as a reserve pilot from 1982-1999. Growing up in a military family (Gary’s dad was a career army soldier), transition from civilian to military life was not difficult; the regimentation and discipline of home life certainly prepared Gary for the Air Force Academy, which he graduated from in 1973.
The Vietnam War was winding down by the time Gary left the academy and entered flight training. As a pilot, entering combat operations in southeast Asia was a remote prospect–especially for the air transport duties for which he was trained. However, throughout his twenty-six year career, Gary never stopped training for war and peace-time missions. Pilots and crews of the Airlift Command have the important–but often under recognized–responsibility of moving troops and cargo wherever things had to be–into a battle zone, across the nation, or around the globe.
“I’ve hauled everything you can think of,” Gary says of his more than 17,000 flight hours, “including a polar bear.”
On February 18, 2015, we filmed our 2nd episode of Veterans and Their Stories at MCA-TV in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. On this day, Gary Schisler (Air Force, Vietnam/Cold War) and Ron McKeon (Marines, Vietnam) joined us to share their stories of serving in the military.
Veterans and Their Stories is hosted by Moon Township resident Beth Feather, who is also the MCA-TV community producer for this program. MCA-TV Staff includes Jim Koepfinger and Bryan Chemini. Camera operators are Earl Edwards, Ron Potter, and Pat Griffin. The technical director is Michael Bufalini and Kevin Farkas directed and edited this program.
This program is produced in cooperation with The Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative, in partnership with the Veterans Breakfast Club.