The Flag for Hope Salutes 4 Star General Thomas Ryan
General Thomas Ryan, Flag for Hope Star, had a long distinguished career in the United States Air Force, spanning over 30 years. Before entering the service he graduated from Ridgewood High School in New Jersey. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in military science in 1965 from the University of Omaha. Later he obtained a Master of Science Degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
General Ryan began his military career as aviation cadet in September 1949. After completing pilot training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in October 1950. From 1954 to 1962, he was assigned to Forbes Air Force Base, Kansas, as a B-47 pilot. His duties included: select crew aircraft commander, instructor pilot and squadron operations officer. In 1958 he became a standardization evaluator in the 90th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.
Ryan transferred to SAC headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska in 1962 as a staff officer in the Plans and Organizational Section of the Weapons Management Branch, Weapons Maintenance Division. In 1965 he entered the Armed Forces Staff College and graduated in 1965 and later from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
He joined the SR-71 equipped 4200th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, California, where he served as chief of the Quality Control Division and later as chief of the Maintenance Control Division.
Ryan transferred to SAC headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, in June 1962 as a staff officer in the Plans and Organizational Section of the Weapons Management Branch, Weapons Maintenance Division.
In 1965 he entered the Armed Forces Staff College and following graduation in July 1965 he joined the SR-71 equipped 4200th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, California, where he served as chief of the Quality Control Division and later as chief of the Maintenance Control Division.
He obtained RF-4C combat crew training at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. 1969 he was assigned to the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. There he was the maintenance control officer and later chief of maintenance. He flew 114 combat missions in RF-4C’s during this tour of duty.
From 1972-1973 he completed a temporary tour of duty as commander, 303rd Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Wing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and participated in the Linebacker II campaign against North Vietnam.
Ryan has more than 8,000 flying hours. His decorations and awards include: The Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal (Air Force), Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal (six oak leaf clusters) and Air Force Commendation Medal (three oak leaf clusters).
He assumed duties as commander of the 47th Air Division at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, in July 1973. Ryan was assigned to SAC headquarters in January 1974 as assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics and in January 1975 become the deputy chief of staff for logistics.
He returned to Air Force headquarters in April 1976 as director for logistics plans and programs. In July 1977 he became the deputy chief of staff for systems and logistics. From October 1977 to July 1981, Ryan served as vice commander in chief of the Military Airlift Command at Scott Air Force Base. He then became commander of Air Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. He assumed command of Military Airlift Command in June 1983. Ryan was promoted to General August 1, 1981.
Thank you General Ryan for participating in the Flag for Hope Project supporting Unity, Honor, Respect and Patriotism!
What is Flag for Hope?
The Flag for Hope Project was started to help promote Unity and Peace among all Americans.
The Flag symbolically represents thousands of Americans holding hands without conflict or hatred. We are all one country and one people. The Flag for Hope is NOT political. It is about patriotism and coming together as a country. NOW IS THE TIME!!!
The Flag Project is also about honor and respect for the men and women that have proudly worn a United States military uniform and fought for our freedoms. Flag for Hope is a reminder that Freedom Isn’t Free. Many have sacrificed for the privileges that we all have today. This Flag signifies appreciation and gratitude for those individuals who serve in our communities like teachers, police, fire, doctors and nurses. It calls us to remember all Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice at the hands of both foreign and domestic enemy attacks. If an American is harmed ANYWHERE, we all suffer and mourn.
The team is led by U.S. Army veteran Marcos Antonio. This epic mission was started at the Indianapolis 500 on May 23, 2015. Our goal is to collect approximately 3,000 – 4,000 American hand and finger impressions on a giant canvas to create the United States of America National Flag. We will accomplish this by going to over a 150 cities and roughly 300 – 400 locations. Each participant will place their impression on the flag in either red, white, or blue paint. There will be 50 American Olympians that put their impression on the flag representing the 50 states and showing the solidarity of the entire nation.
Lastly, the 50 stars on the flag will be iconic Americans that have greatly contributed to the strength and well being of our country. These individuals have inspired, empowered, and encouraged their fellow citizens through their actions as pioneers, role models, and leaders in our society. They come from all backgrounds and embody the essence of the American spirit.
This historic project has never been attempted before and we will finish when every last American can fill the limited space on our 9×5 canvas panel. Finally, the Flag for Hope will be donated to a national museum like the Smithsonian for all Americans to view for generations to come.
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