Alabama Stories

Gene Gygax, Huntsville

(Nominated by Cari Gygax)
Huntsville Jaycees Building
July 27, 2011

My husband, Gene Gygax, is my hero that I would like to nominate for this honorary project!  He flew F-14’s for years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a commander after about 26 total years (including the Naval Academy). After 9/11 (10 years after his military retirement), he was told he too old to get back in the military.  The desire to make a difference and to actively participate in aiding his country in Iraq never left him.  When he was contacted in the summer of 2008 to help in Balad, Iraq, despite the sacrifice and risk to his job of 10 years, he resigned and left for Iraq to serve for the next 15 months. He went against all odds with his age, health issues, etc., to fulfill a deeper call within his heart for the defense of the United States of America!  His employer was so moved that someone would be that committed, courageous, and willing to go that they had a huge farewell open to hundreds of company employees in the Penthouse of their company and gave him a two year “leave of absence” so his prior job could be reinstated upon his return from Iraq!  Gene is definitely one of America’s unsung heroes, living his life quietly in service to his country and his fellow man, always ready to jump to protect the freedoms of this great land!