Air Force veteran reflects on time from K-9 officer to directing Desert Storm evacuations

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Friday, April 12, 2024
Voices of Veterans: Air Force veteran reflects on time from K-9 officer to directing Desert Storm evacuations
Voices of Veterans: Air Force veteran Tom Guido reflects on his time from K-9 officer to directing Desert Storm evacuations

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Although they are no longer in uniform, veterans still play important roles in every community every day.

Recently, we caught up with a two-time veteran vital to a Wilmington, Delaware business.

Tom Guido enlisted in the Air Force as a pathway to college. After basic training, he became a military police officer, going through a course at the FBI Academy.

"I picked K-9 out of those," Tom notes.

He vividly remembers his K-9 partners, like Fonzie, a shepherd.

"He really liked to be in the front seat," Tom remembers.

Or Little Squeak, a drug dog.

"I had to to through and search barracks," he recounts, and when he was in Okinawa, Japan, "We had to search ships. We had to search airplanes. We had to search luggage."

Tom found it very rewarding.

"It was probably one of the best things I've done in my life," he says, smiling.

After active duty, Tom went to college, then into banking, while serving in the Delaware Air National Guard.

Not long after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Tom traded suits for fatigues and shipped out to Saudi Arabia, this time as a communications operator.

"This is a picture of my office, a little com tent out in the middle of the desert," he says.

The reservists were lifesavers for the 5th Army, getting planes in and out to evacuate the wounded.

"I was responsible for getting planes in," he explains of his duties with the C-130 transport aircraft. "And then we'd have to direct them out to whatever country, whether it was in Germany, or United Arab Emirates or whatever, depending on the severity of the casualty."

After deployment, Tom left the military to return to banking and later, he joined the sales staff at Union Park GMC.

"We greet them in person, we greet them online," he says of his Buick GMC clientele, noting that the vehicles have an eclectic, loyal following.

Tom says his Air Force experience really carries over into civilian life.

"You have a lot of responsibility," he notes. "They teach you discipline, everything you do has a mission."

"Community involvement, education, goal driven - all of those things were really just cohesively all part of the military," he says.

Tom also values the teamwork that's a bedrock of the military and these days, that team at Union Park GMC also includes his wife.

He says his military days also taught him to be flexible.