Retired Soldier enjoys volunteer work while wintering at MacDill
by Capt. Rebecca Coyle
Most part-time Florida residents are escapees from northern states seeking refuge from snow, ice and cold temperatures. Chief Warrant Officer 4 (ret.) Edward B. Spalding not only comes here to enjoy our winters, but to serve his military brothers and sisters.
Chief Spalding and his wife spend their winters at Coon's Creek RV Park situated on MacDill's south shore. For the past two winters, he has volunteered at the PharmaCARE Center.
While living in his hometown, Chief Spalding volunteers at the local VA hospital. Chief Spalding will reunite with the PharmaCARE team this fall.
Chief Spalding began his military career two years after graduating from high school in his hometown of Frankfort, Ky.
In 1963 he enlisted in the U.S. Army as and was stationed in the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan. Three years later he met his future wife, Rebecca, and married her shortly after returning from his tour in Vietnam.
Following his marriage, Chief Spalding was discharged from active duty. Not longer after discharge, he re-enlisted in the Kentucky Air National Guard holding the rank of E-6.
In 1968, President Johnson called Chief Spalding's ANG unit to active duty following North Korea's capture of the South Korean vessel, the Pueblo. The unit's mission was to fly photo reconnaissance missions over North Korea.
After serving in Vietnam, Chief Spalding acquired a position in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Assigned to the 590th Personnel Service Company in Louisville, Ky., Chief Spalding continued serving our nation in the Army Reserve as a warrant officer until 1995, when he also retired from his civilian career.
In 1996, he returned to active duty as a Guard Reserve Soldier at Fort Gordon, Ga. Following discharge from active duty in 1999, he continued his military career in the 100th Army Reserve Division until retiring in 2002.
During his 37-year military career, Chief Spalding was awarded 21 decorations including the Legion of Merit.