My father, son and brother all served in the military. I'm very proud of them, proud to be a son, a brother and a father of a veteran, and proud to be a member of Sons of The American Legion Squadron 109, Vail, Ariz.
CMSgt Alfred Wayne Griffis, Retired USAF
My father enlisted into the United States Air Force on May 3, 1957, taking on a career in the meteorology weather-observer field, and completed training in all aspects of weather forecasting. He was a distinguished graduate of the MAC NCO Academy and attended the Senior NCO Academy.
Duty assignments included:
Weather Observer at Ellington AFB Texas 1958-1959
Gunnery Range weather Observer in Korea 1959-1960
Assistant Chief Observer Fort Hood Texas 1960-1964
FUCHU AS Japan 1964
1st WW Hickam AFB Hawaii 1964-1967
SAC Wing Weather Officer Dyess AFB-Abilene Texas 1967-1970
VIETNAM at Soc Trang and Tan Son Nhut 1970-1971
SAC Weather Support Unit at Offutt AFB Omaha Nebraska 1971-1973
Chief Forecaster at MacDill AFB Tampa FL 1973-1975
SAC Headquarters Offutt AFB Omaha Nebraska 1975-1978
Detachment Chief in Schwaebisch Army Airfield Germany 1978-1980
Functioned as Weather Operations Manager and First Sargent at RAF Mildenhall United Kingdom 1980-82
3rd Weather Wing Senior Enlisted Advisor at Offutt AFB Omaha Nebraska 1982-1985.
Awards: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and Two Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksman Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Chief “GRIFF” Griffis currently resides in Tucson, Ariz., with his wife of 61 years, Shirley.
Matthew “Tanner” Griffis swore into the United States Air Force on Oct. 2, 2006, and started basic training. Was in the 320th TRS during basic as an E-1 or Airman Basic. Graduated from basic training and was promoted to E-2 or Airman and was stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark. Was first in the 61st AS (airlift squadron) working on C-130s. His career field at the time was 1T131 or Aircrew Life Support. He was a technician who inspected survival equipment for air crew, such as life rafts, survival kits, parachutes and oxygen equipment. He was also a Survival Evasion and Rescue Instructor (SEAR) who taught the air crew how to use the survival equipment. Tanner was then assigned to the 463rd OSS (operation support squadron) and qualified as a QC tech. (Quality control). He inspected downed aircraft and failed equipment to determine the fault.
On Oct. 3, 2007, Tanner was deployed to Balad, Iraq, for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tanner was awarded Master of Arms and Marksman metals and promoted to E-3. He returned to the U.S. in late February 2008. He was then assigned to the 19th OSS and stayed there for the remainder of his time. Tanner was a highly decorated Airman, with 7 AF awards and metals. Tanner separated in June 2010.
My brother, Roy Griffis, joined the U.S. Coast Guard when he was 19, in October 1978, attended boot camp in Alameda, Calif. (right across the bay from San Francisco), and spent 9 months at ET school on Governor’s Island. His first tour was at USCG Station Alexandria, and he worked on an 82-foot patrol boat out of Portsmouth. Roy was one of the first 75 Rescue Swimmers (RS) in the Guard. Spent three months of ASM training in Elizabeth City, N.C., along with a lot of PT, swimming drills, etc. Roy’s class was shipped to Pensacola, Fla., to go to the only Rescue Swimmer program available at the time, which was taught by the U.S. Navy. Roy was selected “Honor Man” of his class, only the fourth Coastie to be given that award by the U.S. Navy Rescue Swimmer School, and it remains one of his proudest accomplishments. Roy was assigned to USCG Air Station San Francisco in August 1986, assigned as a crewman on the HH-3F helicopter. Roy participated in numerous lifesaving missions throughout his career.