My Views on Western Fiction
The early settling of the American west was not for the faint of heart. The beaver trappers, or mountain men as they were commonly called, were of the hardiest men this continent has ever produced. They often spent years alone, or perhaps with a small group of others, in the Rocky Mountains trapping, discovering country side that few, if any white men had ever seen before. It was a dangerous occupation and many did not last their first year. While the times were rough these men were tougher.
My writing started many years ago, when I used to sit on my great-grandmother's lap and listen to her tall tales of the west. She personally knew the members of the James gang, the Dalton', and the Younger's. However, she always stressed it was the unknown hero's of America that made it the country it is today. Those tall tales started my writing.
In my Novels, I have attempted to show how everyday people, just like you and I, have influenced and settled this great country. While they may have lived in a different period, they were typical of men and women of the time. It is of these no-named people I write about, because they have contributed the most.
So, pull up a chair, relax and read about the Old West when it was young.
After completing basic and technical training, Gary was assigned to Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 100SRW, for upgrade training. He was responsible for instruction of aircrew members flying the U-2, DC-130, and T-33 aircraft, in parachuting and survival skills as a Life Support Technician. He was soon promoted to Airmen In Charge of (the) Training Section. This unit had numerous TDY's to Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand. He was promoted to E-3 (A1C) and E-4 (Sgt) while assigned at DM.
1973-Assigned to U-Tapao, RTNB, Thailand. Gary taught the usage of survival gear, parachuting techniques, and survival procedures to B-52 aircrew members. He lived in Bang Chang, Thailand and was with the 307th BW.
1975-Assigned to Cannon AFB, NM, 27th TFW and 481st TFTS, where he was responsible for teaching F-111D aircrew members egress and ejection procedures. Sergeant Benton developed the first static F-111D egress and ejection procedural trainer in the history of the USAF. He used an ejected module to make this training device. Also, he used another module to teach water survival techniques to crew members. He was promoted to SSgt (E-5) and award his first Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) of five.
1979-Assigned to Pope AFB, NC, 317th TAW. Sergeant Benton was responsible for keeping the Wing's aircraft configured with all required survival gear as well as conducting survival training, including parachuting techniques to aircrew members. Gary worked closely with the local Combat Control Team and other special mission units.
1983-Due to a cutback in personnel, he was cross-trained into Industrial/Occupational Safety. During his reassignment he was promoted to TSgt (E-6)
Sergeant Benton has an associates degree in search and rescue, survival operations, a bachelor's degree in occupational safety and health and a master's degree in psychology near completion.
Gary L. Benton
Senior Master Sergeant, USAF, Retired
Gary received 16 Military Medals and Awards, with numerous clusters.
Some of them are:
- Meritorious Service Medal (5 clusters)
- Air Force Commendation Medal (one cluster)
- Air Force Achievement Medal (two clusters)
- Presidential Unit Award
- Outstanding Unite Award (Valor device)
- Humanitarian Service Medal
- Expeditionary Medal (two stars)
- Outstanding Volunteer Medal
Gary writes for numerous magazines and publications.
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