FAIRBORN — The Miami Valley Military History Museum will welcome the second guest of its 2022 Speaker Series Wednesday, March 9.
Lt. Col. Fred Pumroy (USAF ret.) will present a series of fascinating and compelling first-person accounts entitled “Forward Air Controller in Vietnam and Laos.”
After serving for nearly 21 years in the Air Force, Pumroy retired in 1985 as a command pilot and senior program manager for Major Weapon Systems. Having received his master’s degree in system management while serving, Pumroy spent his later civilian career building and operating a consultant business that would assist independent entrepreneurs with marketing/managing programs. He additionally assisted the government with the study and design of new scheduling processes.
Pumroy spent eight years on city council, two of which he acted as deputy mayor. With a lifelong desire to serve beyond his work in the USAF, Pumroy is extensively involved in a bevy of other community-related organizations and activities including the local Lion’s Club, Rotary, Fairborn Area Historical Society, the Miami Valley Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and the Fairborn Senior Center for which he is a board of trustees member.
Having been highly-decorated for his work and time in the USAF, Pumroy has also published a book on his unique experiences as a pilot in Vietnam, “Born to Live on the Edge.”
Pumroy’s presentation on Wednesday night will draw greatly from these experiences, which, according to museum public affairs officer Cathy Beers-Conrad, are both varied and engaging.
“Fred’s story is really, really unique. I don’t think we could find anybody quite like him and who has done everything he’s done, whether it was in Vietnam or during the Iran hostage situation in 1979,“ said Beers-Conrad. “He’s very highly-decorated and has done so much, even though you normally won’t hear about that from him, because he’s also extremely humble.”
Being that March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day, Beers-Conrad was adamant about finding a speaker for her March installment of the museum’s series who would be, as she put it, “all-encompassing; somebody who had a very special career. Fred’s life has been all about that throughout his career and even past it now that he spends so much time working to serve in the community. We’re hoping for at least 50 people to come to hear Fred Wednesday night.”
Along with her husband, Mark, Beers-Conrad opened up the new larger space for the Miami Valley Military History Museum on Main Street in January 2022.
“We ran out of space in our last location,” she said. “Here, we have almost three times the space. Which makes having a speaker series like ours all the better to bring in more community members to hear what our remarkable guests have to say.”
Free for admission, patrons of the museum will be greeted with refreshments including water and individualized wrapped snacks such as Oreos. But more than the snacks, they can expect an evening of harrowing tales from a most distinguished and experienced veteran of the USAF.
“I’ll be talking about my experiences in the Vietnam War, where I had four different missions,” said Pumroy. “I’ll be talking about those missions and, if I have time, I’ll talk a bit about flying with Admiral John McCain Jr.; (father to Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain III.) I was also part of the crew that picked up General Westmoreland when they released the prisoners in Saigon. So, there’s lots of stories I’m ready to tell. It’ll probably be around an hour, but more than likely closer to 45 minutes, with a Q&A to follow.”
Pumroy explained that his agreeing to speak as part of the museum series stems from his love of supporting the community. He’s particularly proud to be supporting the Conrad’s in their creation and running of a local museum focused on the history of the military.
“It really is a nice setup here in the museum,” Pumroy said. “And I just want to do what I can to support them.”
“I’m already getting speakers lined up for 2023,” Beers-Conrad said, adding that “there are plenty more such events coming together now and that can be viewed through the museum’s website (www.mvmhm.com/landing.htm) for further details.”
Contact Mathew Klickstein at 937-372-4444, ext. 2122.