The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Ex-Husky retires as pilot, Air Force major after 'defining moment'


June 23, 2021

MAJ. MIKE GASKINS' Air Force career took him from the shop to the cockpit.

Sweet Home alum Michael D. Gaskins had served four years in the Air Force and was thinking about getting out and going to college when he had a "defining moment."

When terrorists slammed jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Gaskins said, he had a change of heart.

When he finally left, on June 1 of this year, he retired after 23-plus years in the service.

Gaskins, 42, finished as chief pilot of the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron based at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash.

He was an evaluator pilot on the KC 135R/T aircraft, a tanker that refuels...

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