Remembering our veterans

Ken Rogers
Feb. 19, 2013 @ 07:01 PM

Ken Rogers

Born to Frances and Ken Rogers, Ken Rogers joined the Air Force as a personnel specialist in August 1969, following his graduation from Appalachian State University. His first assignment was at Taipei Air Station, Taiwan, where he met and eventually married his wife, Lena, in January 1973. After Taiwan, he went to Shaw Airbase, South Carolina, where their first child, Rene, was born in October, 1975, and then to Hickman Air Force Base, Hawaii, where their second child, Stephen, was born in June of 1978.

During Ken’s assignment in Hawaii, he applied for and was accepted to Officer Training School. After graduating he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. In 1978, he moved his family to Loring Air Force Base, where he served as Personnel Officer. The next assignment was to Headquarters, a Strategic Air Command, at Offutt Air Force Base. After that stay, the family went to Tempelhof Central Airport, in Berlin, Germany. As Director of Personnel, he supervised military, U.S. civilian, and local national civilian personnel programs. Ken also pulled a short stint as a Squadron Commander, and earned a Masters degree in Public Administration. Matthew, their third child, was born in Germany in 1987. The presence of U.S. Forces in Berlin had a direct impact on the Wall coming down in 1989. After Berlin, the family went to Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, to what is Mecca for personnel types-AF Military Personnel Center. During that time, Ken was responsible for developing computer programs for personnel in the entire Air Force.

Ken’s last assignment was to exploit emerging technology to develop both computer hardware and software that could survive in a hostile environment. The prototype desk top systems were used successfully in the first Gulf War. Because of this success, others wanted to use the same system; Manpower for determining manning requirements; and Medics for tracking medical information about deployed troops. At the same time, lap top computers were becoming as powerful as the desk top, and were considered as potential replacements. Ken, as a major, retired from the Air Force in 1993. Within a few years, while at the Charlotte Air National Guard, Ken learned that the lap top had indeed replaced the desk tops throughout the Air Force.

When retired, Ken returned to Waxhaw with his family, where they literally built their own log home. He was employed as a veteran Service Officer, beginning with the State of North Carolina, and then Union County. 2008 was the year Ken retired. Since then, Ken and Lena have remained active with the American Legion Post 208, the Veteran’s Council, and the Waxhaw United Methodist Church. When not volunteering, the couple can be found working on their house, gardening, bike riding, and attending car shows, showing Ken’s dad’s car, known as the “Woodie.”