Honoring four local veterans and their service to our country
On Nov. 11, we recognize and pay respect to military veterans who served our country in the armed forces.
In honor of Veterans Day, we wanted to introduce you to four veterans who served our country and now proudly call Chandler home.
Born in December of 1922 in Gonzales, Texas, Loyd Boyd moved to Arizona with his family as a young boy. He was drafted into the Army during World War II, and was shipped off in December of 1942 to the San Pedro, California Draft Registration/Intake Station. Boyd was then sent to Fort Huachuca, Arizona as part of the 480th MP Battalion. While there, they lived in tents as their barracks. After his time in the service ended, Boyd returned to finish high school. He became a diesel mechanic and school bus driver for the next 20 years. He got married, and one of his sons, Jerry Boyd, served on the Mesa City Council and as Vice Mayor of Mesa.
Year began service: 1942
Rank: Private First Class, U.S. Army
Gillian and Wes Burns
Gillian joined the Navy during college through the Navy Nuclear Power Officer Candidate program. “I was one of the first women officers to complete the Nuclear Power training program to serve on a combatant ship,” she says. Gillian now tutors elementary through high school students in math, and volunteers in the local community. Wes was working as a police officer and pursuing a Master’s degree when a viewing of the film Saving Private Ryan inspired him to enlist. Coincidentally, just a few days later, he saw a Coast Guard Reserve flyer recruiting new members for a soon-to-be-formed Port Security Unit in the break room at the police department. Wes’ tour at PSU 313 culminated in September of 2018, while he was serving as the unit’s Executive Officer. He is currently a staff officer to USCG Pacific Area Command, Office of Deployable Specialized Forces, in California.
Years served: 1995-2003
Rank: Lieutenant (O-3), U.S. Navy
Years served: 1998-present, with five honorable discharges following each activation period
Rank: Staff Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area Command, Deployable Specialized Forces
It was an easy decision for Anthony Gilmore to enlist in the military. He has a number of family members who also served in the U.S. Navy, including his father, uncles and brother. Gilmore, who was an Engineman on the USS John Young, now co-owns Antrim Air with his wife; the company offers HVAC services Valleywide. And, while they will hire a qualified technician if he or she is not a veteran, veterans do get preference. “We always try to hire veterans, and currently, all of our technicians are veterans,” he says.
Years served: 1995-1999
Rank: 2nd Class Petty Officer, U.S. Navy
Robert ORourke decided to enlist in the U.S. Army for one key reason: he wanted to do something that made a difference in people’s lives. ORourke was stationed at Fort Knox and Schofield Barracks, and he had a combat deployment to Afghanistan in 2011 and Guam in 2014. ORourke, who is a Chandler resident, is currently teaching at a school in Queen Creek.
Years served: 2008-present
Rank: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army