On this page, we are preserving the stories, and memories, of military veterans.
This is a place for service members to share their experiences in the most vivid, intimate way -
in their own voices.
MSGT Luis Estela, USAF, Ret.
While he shuffled a copy of his DD214 and some other paperwork, Luis Estela regaled a few stories of his time in the service, beginning with when he enlisted in the U.S. Military 70 years ago, when he was 18 years old. A distinguished career followed for the 88-year-old veteran, who served during both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Some of his decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with One Device, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Four Devices, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Air Force Conduct Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship ribbon, Armed Forces Expenditionary Medal, NCO Academy Graduate Ribbon, Army Good Conduct Medal with Three Devices, Combat Readiness Medal with one Medal and the Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with Five Devices.
Estela retired in April 1980, after serving 27 years and 21 days active duty. He remained in the reserves for another three years.