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Stories of Honor: Patrick O’Keefe, U.S. Army, 2004-2013

January 10, 2023

Stories of Honor: Patrick O’Keefe, U.S. Army, 2004-2013

As we near the end of Veterans Month, we are proud to honor the men and women of PSA who have served in the military by highlighting their stories in a series we call Stories of Honor. CVG-based mechanic, Patrick O’Keefe, shares what he learned during his three deployments.

My time in the U.S. Army began when I enlisted in September 2004. I served eight-and-a-half years with three deployments to the Middle East. Two were in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

  • Operation Iraqi Freedom – Oct. 2005 to Oct. 2006
  • Operation Enduring Freedom – Dec. 2006 to May 2008
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom – March 2010 to April 2011

I was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division from May 2007 to January 2010. I spent the majority of my deployment time as infantryman, but I was also the generator mechanic for my unit. I medically retired in March 2013.

My three deployments gave me the opportunity to grow as a person and to see that some parts of the world are not all flowers and sunshine. I saw a lot of bad things, but I also saw that Americans did a lot of good to try and help the local population with anything they needed to help fight against terrorism.

I grew up around aviation my whole life. My father and uncle are both private pilots. My uncle owns a Cessna 182 airplane and my father owns a 1967 Cessna 172 H model airplane. Before enlisting into the U.S. Army, I worked as a ramp agent with Comair, and fell in love even more with the aviation Industry. My time as a generator technician inspired me to do bigger things in life after the military. After retiring, I was a truck driver for a few years, then decided to go back to college to get my A&P at Cincinnati State where I also received my Associate’s Degree in Applied Aviation Maintenance. I learned about PSA’s Maintenance Student Pathway Program through a presentation and classmates at Cincinnati State. It was a great program where students could learn more about the industry and it gave the students a guaranteed job after passing all required FAA examinations. I am grateful for the chance to be offered a job through that program. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. It’s an honor to be part of the PSA team.

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