Written by Sheila Ferrari Friday, 01 October 2010 00:00
Lieutenant Colonel Harold F. “Hootch” Meyers (U.S.A.F. Ret.), 43, was laid to rest on Sept. 23, 2010. A former resident of North Levittown, he passed suddenly at his home in California after serving some 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, having retired this past April.
It was his desire as a young man growing up in Levittown to become a pilot and at age 18 he joined the U.S. Air Force.
His persistence, along with schooling, eventually led to his attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During his climb up the ladder he worked at various bases, held a position in the Pentagon and became the pilot he had always desired to be.
Hootch, as he was affectionately known, a name that was scrolled beneath the cockpit of the jets he flew was considered “a man’s man.” He held some of the highest combat numbers in the history of the U.S. Air Force and at one time the U.S. Navy tried to recruit him to fly for them.
It was not only the fighter jets he flew. He flew an Air Tanker utilized to refuel jets returning from combat, was considered an Electronics Warfare Expert in the suppression of enemy air defenses and his last tour saw him on the ground operating with the U.S. Army doing reconnaissance. In addition, he was an instructor passing on his skills to new pilots.
Hootch was deployed to Iraq some 19 times having flown some 2,145 hours in a fighter planes. He had 812 hours combat time combined with 272 combat missions. His decorations include, 2 Meritorious Service Medals, 11 Air Medals, 4 Aerial Achievement Medals, 2 Air Force Commendation Medals, 1 Air Force Achievement Medal, 1 Navy Achievement Medal, 3 Combat Readiness Medals, 1 National Defense Medal (1 device), 1 Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, 1 Southwest Asia Service Medal (2 devices), 1 Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, 1 Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 1 Armed Forces Service Medal (1 device), 1 Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border (2), 1 NATO Medal and 1 Kuwait Liberation Medal presented by the Government of Kuwait.
Harold Meyers was indeed a decorated man and will be missed by his family and friends.
He was waked at O’Shea’s Funeral Home with a Mass of Christian Burial held at Saint Bernard’s in Levittown on Sept. 23. Interment was in Pinelawn National Cemetery with full military honors.
He is survived by wife Elizabeth; his children, Jessica, Cassandra and Tyler; his mother Cecelia and father Harold; his brothers, Michael, Dennis and Gregory and their wives. He was the cherished uncle of Caroline, Jack, Catherine, Christian, Ryan, Brendan, Grace and Connor.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory should contact The Wounded Warriors (402)502-7557.
Hootch!, may you rest in peace, may God bless you and thank you for your service to United States of America.