Roy Cook

Roy Cook

By Lori Kerns, AFRH-G Librarian

Roy Cook was born May 28, 1943 at Fort F. E. Warren Army Air Corps Base (now F. E. Warren Air Force Base) in Cheyenne, WY.   Coincidentally, his mother was born 20 years, 20 days, and 20 hours before Roy at the same hospital and was delivered by the same doctor.  At that time, the base was a cavalry post called Fort D. A. Russell.  His father, who retired from the Air Force as a one-star, was stationed at the base as for the majority of Roy’s first sixteen years.  As a child, he could never get in too much trouble because everyone would watch him like a hawk.  If he ever got into mischief, word got back to his parents in a flash.

With the advice of his father and the intent to do some of the same things his father did (except as an enlisted soldier), Roy joined the Army in 1960.  He was sent to Fort Ord, CA for basic training then to Fort Holabird, MD for advanced individual training.

His first assignment was for 18 months in South Vietnam as part of Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) Vietnam.  He was sent as the intelligence guy as part of an advisory team to Bac Lieu and Camu in support of the 21st ARVN Division.  During this tour he contracted hepatitis and waited for almost a week for Air America to take him to Saigon and then transport him to the Philippines for 45 days to get well.  He then returned to Bac Lieu for the remainder of his tour.  For his second tour of duty in South Vietnam, which also lasted 18 months, he was again with MAAG Vietnam and assigned to Soc Trang and Can Tho.  On his third 18-month tour in Vietnam, he served as part of the 1st Signal Brigade as the classified document control. On his fourth and final tour, Roy was assigned to the Command Group MACV (JO1R) as a direct staff member to Ambassador William Colby (DEPCORDS), who eventually became director of the CIA.

After Vietnam, he returned to the states for about eight months before getting orders for the NATO Headquarters in Izmir, Turkey.  He functioned for two years as the U. S. Document Control for the U. S. four-star Commander Allied Land Forces Southeastern Europe.  He was then sent to Allied Forces South in Naples, Italy for nearly seven years as the U. S. Document Control for CINCSOUTH.  Having chosen Redstone Arsenal, AL as his retirement post, he spent his final two and a half years double-slotted at the Missile and Electronics School.  During his military career, Roy earned many awards including the Bronze Star, a Joint Service Commendation Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, and other awards.  (This information had to be pried out of a humble Roy.)

Before his military retirement, Roy had purchased a large farm about 35 miles south of Huntsville, AL.  Upon his retirement he immediately began working for Lockheed Martin Corporate in Huntsville and worked his farm growing weed-free hay.  He retired from Lockheed Martin in 2003 and then completely retired in 2010. In his words, he “vegetated” on his farm until he came to AFRH-G in 2013.  At the home, he made close friends with two other residents, Jim Brogan (Navy) and Andy Hunter (Marine).  They are known around the home as the “Three Amigos.”  They enjoy taking cruises and road trips together.  The three guys are hoping to inspire others to get out and do activities to keep their bodies moving and brains active.  Roy contributes to this mission and to the home by serving as a RAC floor rep for two floors and as RAC Vice-Chair.  Along with these responsibilities, he’s sponsored countless new residents, does tours of the home for various groups, and loves to socialize.  According to Roy, the best decision he ever made was to come to AFRH-G.  We are so very happy that he made this decision and glad that he serves as an inspiration to so many.