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Chief Veilleux retires after 34 years in the military

  • Published
  • By By Tech. Sgt. Carlos J. Trevino
  • 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Thomas J. Veilleux Sr., 356th Airlift Squadron’s Formal Training Unit superintendent, retired from the United States Air Force Reserve during a June 11 ceremony at the Cargo Loading Training Facility here. The event was officiated by Lt. Col. Steven Radtke, 356th AS commander.

“He has pride in himself and the United States Air Force“ Radtke said. “Those are the things that got him through his entire career, that pride in himself and the Air Force, and more importantly, the family.”

Among the many highlights of his career was the fact that he got to fly with his son, Thomas Jr., who was also a loadmaster from 2003 to 2007. The chief’s career spanned over 38 years beginning his career in August 1979 in Security Forces as a dog handler at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.  

Veilleux told his story that focused on a second chance he got in his military career.  After a break in service, he enlisted in the Army, before transferring back to the Air Force.  He thanked the loadmasters he has been serving with at the CLTF. At the end of the ceremony, he presented his chief’s coin to his family members.

“It has been a long road,” Veilleux said. “I couldn’t have done it without my beautiful wife Diane,” he said.  He and his wife of 34 years met when he was stationed in Washington. “It’s a hard choice, and it’s time I am going to take another road, and it’s going to be with her,” he said.