A Captain Among Us, the Life Of Bill Gigliotti
|Bill walks with some friends in a small Vietnamese village in the early 70's. Gigliotti was stationed in several locations during the war. |
Sometimes the most amazing stories and men live right among us. Unnoticed, that is until one stumbles upon them like one would stumble upon a rare gem hidden within a pile of rocks. Carbon County resident Bill Gigliotti is one such gem.
As a retired United States Air Force Captain who served in the Vietnam War, Gigliotti has seen a good portion of the world and his work as an inspirational speaker has led him all over the United States.
"I have always come back to Carbon County," said Gigliotti. "No matter where I have traveled, it will always be my home."
Born in Carbonville in 1945, Gigliotti attended Notre Dame until he graduated in 1963.
"After high school I was looking for something new, I wanted to see the world so I joined the Air Force and put in for somewhere exciting like New York, California or Florida. I wanted to see the world and they sent me to Miles City, Mont.," laughs Gigliotti.
|Bill readys his weapon in Vietnam during his second tour. |
During his first tour in the service Gigliotti served as a clerk typist, serving a relatively uneventful tour during the beginning of the Vietnam war.
Gigliotti finished his first term of service in 1967 and returned to Carbon County. He began work at the BLM youth job corps for about two months before deciding to rejoin the service in the midst of a violent and dangerous war.
"The service was something I really enjoyed by this point in my life, and it took leaving it to realize just how much I enjoyed it," explained Gigliotti.
Bill bounced around the states for a few months before being attached to the Army and stationed at QuiNhon Army Airfield in Vietnam where he maintained radios and rode armed shotgun during motorized missions between QuiNhon and Phu Cat.
Gigliotti was then transferred full time to Phu Cat Airbase where he maintained air traffic control communications and worked as a repairman servicing equipment at the Army's fire base Fidel and Korean Army's Tigertown.
Bill was transferred to Thailand from 1971 to 1973 where he worked rotational assignments at Udorn Royal Thai Airbase on the Laotian border, where he also repaired ground communications equipment for recon and surveillance flights over Laos and Cambodia.
"During this time I got familiar with flying on EC-121's over Laos and Cambodia. It was very interesting to take part in those surveillance missions," said Gigliotti.
When Gigliotti returned to the states he dedicated himself to furthering his education. He attended Chapman University in Sacramento, Calif., where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1975 with a Bachelors of Arts in social sciences.
"I was working really hard at gaining education so that I could progress within the military and that decision led me down some very interesting paths," commented the retired Air Force Captain.
|Gigliotti poses with his 1960 Dodge in the early 60's prior to joining the military. |
In 1977, while working as a Master Sgt., Bill was accepted for officer training in the security career field as a Second Lt. in the anti-terrorism division. At this time he gained his Masters Degree from Pacific Lutheran University and now ranking Capt. he was selected to command the 6170th Combat Support Squadron at Suwon, South Korea.
"In South Korea I worked with negotiators to bring the A-10 aircraft into the Republic of Korea," explained Gigliotti.
While working in anti-terrorism Gigliotti attended Federal Bureau of Investigations training including hostage negotiations and kidnap protection.
He concluded his military career at McChord Air Base in Washington as the Director/Chief of administration and information management for the base.
During his 25 plus years of military service Gigliotti received the Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals,, four Air Force Commendation Medals, five Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards for Valor, a National Defense Service Medal, he is a small arms expert marksman and received the Vietnam Gallantry Cross from the Vietnamese Gov.
Bill celebrated his "retirement" by starting a new career.
He began in Washington where he put his extensive administrative training to use as a campaign manager for a House of Representatives candidate and published an advertising sales letter for Tacoma area merchants.
|Gigliotti goes over some of his seminar techniques. He currently lectures about the importance of organ donation for the Intermountain Donor Service and provides individual coaching and seminars focused on reaching ones goals. Gigliotti also provides radio voice-overs.|
Gigliotti continued to move around traveling to Montana where he lived for 10 years before moving back to Price. During his time there Gigliotti continued to be an asset to the community in which he lived. He assisted in developing and advising a peer juvenile court while owning and operating the Whisperinghorse Ranch n Roundup. He also taught numerous human behavior and psychology courses at Billing's night school.
During his time in Montana, Gigliotti really developed his speaking ability acting as the keynote speaker at both the Human Resources Development Council Academy in Lewiston and the American Business Women's Association.
Bill has been back in Price since 1990 and in that time he has developed and marketed a software program for small medical facilities and nursing homes to track complaints and action items for regulatory compliance.
Gigliotti spends a great deal of his time now speaking to junior high and high school students on behalf of the Intermountain Donor Service as well as giving lectures to clubs and groups locally.
"Adult education is the topic I enjoy the most," said Gigliotti. "I like to help people grow, I like to help them be all they can be."
Bill states that he will spend the rest of his days here in Carbon County.
"I love Carbon County," concluded Gigliotti. "I love knowing the people and having my breakfast burrito at the same McDonalds every morning."