Dean “Diz” Laird entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Navy on January 2, …
Dick Jonas served four years as an infantryman in the Georgia Army National Guard while attending Valdosta State College. He graduated in 1965 with a BS degree in Physics and Math. He entered the Air Force and received his commission through Officer Training School. In 22 years service he flew 3,000 jet fighter hours in the F-4 and the F-16. During 125 missions in Vietnam he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with 12 clusters.
He recorded his first albums of military ballads in 1969, after returning from Vietnam.
He retired from the Air Force in 1986 as a Lieutenant Colonel, and became an Aerospace Science Instructor in the Air Force Junior ROTC program.
During 1991 and 92, in 325 performances he played the leading role in Guv: The Musical, a stage production of the Mill Avenue Theater in Tempe, Arizona.
Dick retired from teaching after 15 years of service, in June 2004. He is now a military folk musician. He is known as ‘America’s Foremost Military Aviation Song Writer and Balladeer.’ His aim is to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of the warrior musician — ‘the songs we sang about the planes we flew and the people we knew in the wars we fought.’
He has published three books about military folk music, and a series of books about fighter pilot philosophy. He has produced twenty-nine albums and is the author of 120 musical compositions. His CDs and books are available at Erosonic, in Chino Valley, Arizona, and online at erosonic.com, Amazon.com, CD Baby, and iTunes.
Dick and his wife, Mary, reside in Chino Valley, just north of Prescott, Arizona.
His website is http://www.erosonic.com/