SHREVEPORT, La – Weather might not be the first job that comes to mind in the military. But when you meet Tim Sloan, you’ll see it’s right up there.
It was not a glamorous job like you see in a TV studio.
“I’ve been on patrols. I’ve been ambushed. I’ve been on raids,” Tim said.
He was a special operations meteorologist in the Air Force, deployed on combat missions. He was attached to the special operations of the army, sometimes parachuted.
“Either way, whether they get down to business, jump into the march, quickly open up from a helicopter, or jump in a parachute, swim, board. , that’s how we had to come in because we were attached to their team. “
Tim explained why his expertise was needed.
“My job was to pass this critical meteorological information on to the meteorologists in the back so that they could inform their pilots. They could either drop bombs, or go and land helicopters there, land planes there,” he said. he declares.
“Or if they send someone to do recovery operations. If a helicopter breaks down or an airplane breaks down and they need to pick up personnel, they will send us to let them know if they can. see the ground to recover these personnel, “he added.
Tim’s first combat mission was in Panama for Operation Just Cause in 1989 to overthrow their leader, the drug racketeer Manuel Noriega. It was also deployed to Kosovo in the 1990s.
But the mission in Iraq in 2004 was different. He flew small unmanned aerial vehicles – one eye in the sky.
“You can see just about anything,” Tim says of drones. “If you had an assault party going into a building, you could cover that assault party to make sure no one came after them and let them know, just to stay in cover. And you could fly around. your base. If someone tries to infiltrate your base, you can fly there and keep cover on your base too. “
Tim left the Air Force as a Master Sgt after 20 years. Barksdale Air Force was his last duty station. Then he found a new way to serve. It’s at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Shreveport, where Tim works as a certified orthotic practitioner.
What started as volunteering turned into schooling and a new career helping children.
“I can build, fit and adjust orthotics, from the cranial helmet if needed, to the shoe inserts,” Tim explained.
But he also devotes time to other veterans, now serving as the state commander for the Louisiana VFW.
“I think everyone who has served in the military should continue to serve. You have to take care of those who follow you, ”Tim said of his work for other veterans.
Tim is originally from the Quad Cities area of Illinois. But he chose to make Shreveport-Bossier his home after the Air Force. A hunter and angler, Tim says he loves Sportsman’s Paradise.