By John Montesano –
The Fox Valley Breakfast Club named John Muschler the November Veteran of the Month.
He was born, May 20, 1942 and raised in Aurora. He attended Nancy Hill and St. Paul’s Lutheran Elementary Schools and was graduated from West Aurora High School, class of 1960. After two years at Valparaiso University, John joined the Air Force. He did his basic training and air police tech school at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas. He had been set to go into air navigation, but it was closed right after his enlistment. So, he was put into the air police, now called security forces. After training, he was stationed at Clark Air Base, just north of Manila, Philippines, where he served in the 405 APRON (Air Police Squadron) for 19 months. He worked mostly in security. When he arrived at Clark AB on Christmas Eve 1962, it was 84°F at 11 p.m.! He described the weather as six months of extreme heat and six months of extreme heat and rain. At one stretch, it rained for 10 days and nine nights without stopping.
He was a guard at the U.S. Embassy in Camp John Hay in Baguio, Philippines; and at the 13th Air Force Headquarters Command Center on Clark AB, which provided security for Bob Hope when he came to entertain the troops. On one occasion, John drove Bob Hope to the football field for the entertainment. He described Bob Hope as a nice guy who was good at relating to the troops and what was going on with them.
Quite a coincidence put the location of John’s barracks on Clark AB, at almost the same spot where his Uncle Bud was shot in the hip in 1945 while serving in the Army during World War II.
In July 1964, John was assigned to RAF Wethersfield, England and stayed there for two years. It gave him a perfect opportunity to spend time sight-seeing in Europe, which he did. In 1965, John’s childhood sweetheart and future bride, Barb, came to England and together they toured the British Isles.
He returned to Aurora in 1966 and until 1984, worked for Barbar-Greene Company, Richards-Wilcox, and Forty Eight Insulations Company, each in the purchasing department. During that time, he attended Aurora College and earned an associate’s degree in purchasing management. After working for a few more companies, John joined Border Books as a corporate sales coordinator and he retired after 13 years.
In 1967, John married his childhood sweetheart, Barbara. They recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. They have a daughter, Kathryn, and two grandchildren, Jeffrey and Shelby. Barbara is a retired school teacher from East Aurora School District 131.
John is a member of the Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84, the Fox Valley Veterans Breakfast Club, AmVets, and is a former member of the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council.
He was recently honored for his service on the 2017 VetsRoll trip to Washington, D.C..
He and Barb still travel and have been back for another visit to Ireland.