Pineville Air Force Veteran Shares Memories
Larry Caywood of Pineville, an Air Force veteran, recently shared some memories from his life.
Caywood grew up in Pineville and graduated from high school in 1954. He joined the Air Force right out of high school because there were no jobs in the area, he said. In the Air Force, he was a jet aircraft mechanic for 20 years.
From 1958 to 1968, he worked in Altus, Okla., working on KC 135 tankers, which are air refueling airplanes. He was a maintenance crew chief.
Caywood spent 1968 in DaNang, Vietnam, where he worked on F4 aircraft.
“While I was in Vietnam, I talked to pilots a lot and I knew those who were captured or killed, and I learned it wasn’t a very pleasant place,” he said.
After Vietnam, he went to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas and worked in the chief of maintenance office. He was the noncommissioned officer in charge of the aircraft records section for two years and worked on different airplanes as quality control chief and flight chief.
“We really enjoyed the Las Vegas area, our family did,” he said. “The mountains and Lake Meade, and the mountains in Utah. We visited national parks.”
He and his wife, Hope, whom he married in 1955, had two sons, Michael and Craig. Craig worked for the Air Force as an electrical engineer, and Michael worked for McDonald Douglas and Kimberly Clark in Tulsa. Both are retired and live in the McDonald County area.
After leaving Las Vegas, Caywood was in Air Force recruiting in Kansas City for two years. He retired then and moved back to
“I really enjoyed the Air Force and had a good life and made a lot of friends.”
Larry Caywood Pineville Veteran
Pineville and bought a farm, raising beef cattle.
Hope worked for 25 years as a grocery store manager for Phillips, Walmart and Harps.
“Since she retired, we travel some,” Caywood said.
He has been involved in American Legion Post 392 for 34 years. He has been the commander and finance officer and has taken part in military funeral honors for many funerals.
“I really enjoyed the Air Force and had a good life and made a lot of friends,” he said, adding he still has friends he made in the 1950s and 1960s that he visits.
“Hope adapted to the Air Force real well. She was a great military wife,” he added.
He said he visited several countries during his time with the Air Force but never got to see the sights due to constant work. All he got to see was the airstrip.
“I’d tell Hope one piece of concrete looks like another piece of concrete,” he said.
Larry Caywood of Pineville is an Air Force veteran and a member of the American Legion Post 392 in Pineville.