MEMBER OF THE MONTH: January’s Member of the Month is Bill McGhee.
Born in Union Springs Alabama, Bill grew up on a farm where his father raised beef cattle and grew his own crops. He joined the Army, January 12, 1972. After Basic Training and Advance Infantry Training, he was shipped to the 21st Replacement in Germany then to Vicenza Italy. After Vicenza he received orders for Fort Ord, California where he was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division (ID) 707th Maintenance Battalion as a Small Arms Repair Specialist. In 1976, he was transferred to the Big Red 1, 3rd Battalion 63rd Armor Division, Augsburg Germany.
After returning stateside with his wife and son, he worked for a few months for his brothers-in-law in their factory before deciding to move near family in Massachusetts and use his GI Bill to attend college. After graduation, with a Bachelor 0f Science Degree in 1986, he was promoted to Service Supervisor. While he was in the Reserves, he worked at Bay State Gas Company in many line and supervisory capacities. He also received his MBA while he was there.
In 1994 Bill was awarded the “AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL”. March 1996, he received an advance promotion to Master Sergeant and in April 1996, he received a Direct Commission from the office of the President and promoted to Second Lieutenant then was transferred to the 439 Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) Squadron and assigned to the Medical Logistics Section.
In 1989, when in the reserves, he received NCO Quarter and Instructor Of The Year Awards. In 1992, He was promoted to Technical Sergeant and was assigned as Crew Chief for a load team that moved equipment throughout the world.
In 2002, he was the first Medical Service Corps Officer in his unit to be deployed to Pakistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He accompanied the relocation of medical equipment from his location to forward deployed locations for setting up a Combat Surgical Hospital.
April 2008, he was deployed to Ramstein Air Base Germany as Director of Aeromedical Evacuation Operation. He directed the coordination of 167 mishap free AE missions that transported a total of 2,128 casualties.
November 2008, he was hand selected from over 600 applicants from around the world to deploy on a diplomatic mission to Tunisia to participate in the MEDLITE 08 exercise where he taught, coached and mentored over 30 members of the Tunisian Military Health Authority during this worldwide, highly visible international joint service Mass Causality Exercise. He was certified as a Level 1 Anti-Terrorism Officer to conduct briefings to deploying unit members on Anti-terrorism.
May 2010, he was deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan as the Director Aeromedical Evacuation (AE). He supervised the launch and recovery of 379 AE missions, double that of the previous year, coordinated the on loading of 3,737 patients; 1,938 litter, 1,799 ambulatory, 360 critical care patients, over 1,200 battle injured patients. On May 19, while the area of the Base where the hospital was located was under attack, he assisted in bringing into the hospital for treatment while it was locked down.
November 14, 2011, he retired from the Air Force Reserve after having the privilege of serving this great nation for almost 40 years.
He joined the Galaxy Community Council, because as a member of the Reserves here at Westover, he’d always heard about the great things this organization has accomplished for the military members at Westover. To quote Bill, “I am proud to be a member of the GCC.” He is also a very active member of ESGR.
Presently, he manages the family farm in Alabama; helps his wife market some medical devices she created and he serves as a trustee at First Churches in Northampton where he lives with his wife. She has convinced him to get a dog, so now when he is not working on his next project; he is out walking their dog Ben.
Bill has been a tireless contributor to our military effort, his civilian job at Bay State Gas and to his community. We are honored to have him as a member of our organization.