This is from a recent post from a life-long friend of one of the owners of 1350 Distilling. Thank you, Matt for sharing your dad's story for our tribute. Both Matt and Steve are on our Wall of Honor. This Fathers' Day we pay tribute to the special men in our lives. Please post and share with @1350Distilling and we will "Post a Toast" to your father too.
SSG Steve Petersen Grew up in Yerington Nevada working at his father's, "Nevada Bakery", 1952-1964. He obtained his pilot's license at 14.
After high school he attended University of Nevada Reno for a semester in 1965. He later joined the US Army in 1965. He served in Vietnam 1966-1967 with the 1ST Aviation Brigade, 179th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion as a Door Gunner, Crew Chief and Flight Engineer.
Missions included delivering Troops, Ammo, Supplies and Howitzers on operations near Dac To, Pleiku, the Central Highlands and the border near Laos. He was Awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Army Air Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w/60 Device.
He received an Honorable Discharge from the US Army in 1968.
He Joined the Nevada Air National Guard in 1974 and later transferred to the Nevada Army National Guard in 1975.
He served as Crew Chief for OH58 and UH1H Huey helicopter aircraft from 1975-1980, Crew Chief for CH54 Tarhe Sky crane from 1981-1989 and finished his career as the Crew Chief of a CH47 Chinook from 1989-1996, the same model of aircraft that he served on in Vietnam.
While serving in the Army National Guard he served on numerous missions fighting wild fires from helicopter around Nevada and the West, transported Wolfpack Battalion ROTC Cadets, dropped Army Paratroopers, Navy Seals, Air Force Para-Rescue, Recon Marines and hauled countless tons of cargo. However, his favorite mission was serving as Crew Chief on the mission to lift the Our Lady of the Rockies statue onto a mountainside that is part of the Continental Divide in Butte Montana.
On December 17, 1985, a CH-54 Tarhe from the Army National Guard's 137th Aviation Company lifted the statue in four sections into place. At the time it was the second tallest statue in the United States, behind the Statue of Liberty. The base of the statue is 8510' above sea level.
SSG. Steve Petersen served our country for over 26 years. Often he held a second night job to support our family and never complained about it. My dad finally retired this year at 75 after having three more long term jobs after retiring from the military. I am most proud of my father for his work ethic and his willingness to do whatever job he had to do to support his family.