By Carol Mowdy Bond
Two county U.S. Navy veterans, Linda Blue of Mustang, and Richard Radeka of Yukon, were recently honored.
The Oklahoma Prairie Chapter of the Oklahoma Society Daughters of the American
Revolution honored Blue and Radeka, along with three other veterans, on April 13. The ceremony was at the Piedmont Area Veterans Association event center, 170 Edmond Road, in Piedmont. Each veteran received a hand-made quilt, made by members of Quilts of Valor.
Blue served for 21 years in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1990. A radioman with the communications field, she served in Guam, Hawaii, San Diego, Norfolk, and Italy.
Blue said, “We transmitted messages to the U.S. Navy command. We received a lot of messages at the center. We received them from Navy command globally, and routed these messages. When I was in Italy, we broadcast messages to the submarines in the Mediterranean.”
The command center functioned 24/7. So, Blue worked a lot of rotating shifts. Blue also worked in an Emergency Action Center. However, she never went to sea.
“While in Guam, we were sending over 10,000 messages a month to the Red Cross. North Vietnam was invading South Vietnam and the South Vietnamese people were fleeing. We were trying to help the Red Cross help them,” Blue said.
Blue’s military awards include a Joint Service Achievement commendation for her time serving with the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and a Navy Achievement commendation.
Radeka also served in the U.S. Navy. His unit was in Vietnam to stop infiltrators. He was an aviator for anti-sub warfare patrol. Radeka was the tactical coordinator who ran the missions on airplanes, and he was in search and rescue.
Radeka said, “I served four years of active duty, including coastal patrols off the Vietnam coast. We were looking for supplies and other coming from North Vietnam. We were also tracking foreign submarines and their activities.”
The military awarded Radeka with a Presidential Unit Citation.