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Leadership, Service, The Academy

Military Legacy Spotlight: Cadet 2nd Class Griffin Gluck

C2C Griffin Gluck, Nov. 6, 2017

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Note: This week we are highlighting permanent party, cadets and family members whose families have served in the U.S. military for more than three generations. 

This was harder to put together than I originally thought because I didn’t want to leave anyone out. Here are some of the main people in my family who have served our country.

Samuel Gluck

This is my Great-Great Grandfather Samuel Gluck. His family emigrated here from Austria. We know they weren’t very well off as most census data shows his mother to be a widow. Samuel became a doctor, a lawyer, a pharmacist, and later a state senator for the New York legislature after having volunteered as the regimental surgeon for the 9th New York National Guard. This Guard unit was among several activated to assist Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, although my Great Grandfather only participated in medical screenings for soldiers going over.

Great grandfather Eddy Katz

Next would be my Great Grandfather Edwin (Eddy) Katz. He was already enlisted years before WWII started. As a Jewish-American who had grown up in Chicago, he was more than enthusiastic to take the fight to the Nazis. He was offered a commission several times during the war as he had been in longer than most, but refused – he was a hard fighting, sharp-tongued enlisted man and he didn’t want end up some “dumb lieutenant,” like the ones who always got shot first once the fighting started. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge and fought for the entirety of WWII. He was a sergeant major, but his stripes went up and down throughout the war depending on who he cussed at.

Legacy Family

This is my Great Aunt and Great Uncle – Eddy’s Children. My Great Aunt Judy Katz was an Air Force Crypto and Communications specialist. My Great Uncle Jon Katz was a dog-handler in Vietnam. He earned two purple hearts, which are on display in his home even today. As the legend goes, he was in a particularly heated shouting match with his father (Eddy) when he marched down to the recruitment office and signed up to go to Vietnam. He served several tours in Vietnam before earning those purple hearts. My Great Aunt Judy later went on to become one of the first female police officers on the Dallas police force.

Gluck Grandfathers

(Left)Next would be my Grandfather Barry Gluck. Barry was a missile technician who worked on the Atlas missiles during the Cold War. He was a Senior Master Sgt in the Air Force and served twenty years. He was also one of the first groups of enlisted to work on computers as a technician when this was a very new field. He was stationed and served everywhere from Wyoming to Alaska to Mississippi.

(Right) My Grandfather on my mother’s side served in WWII as a signalman for the Navy. He was the first of his brothers and sisters to be born in the United States and was given the name Arthur Amerigo Bianchi after the country his parents were so proud to now be a part of. He enlisted in the Navy early on in the war like many Americans to avoid being drafted into the Army. He served honorably throughout the war. He married his girlfriend Lucia and they have been married now for more than 75 years.

Gluck 4

My father was a combat medic in 2nd battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment. He served in central America during the 1980s and is a disabled vet. After being discharged due to his injuries, he worked any jobs he could while he taught himself to fly. He later started flying as an Air Force and DoD contractor back in Central and South America. Today he flies an MC-12 for the Department of Defense.

Gluck 5

(Left) My cousin Steven Gluck is currently an intelligence officer in the United States Army. He was the first of our family to serve as an officer. He originally enlisted as a legal assistant to a JAG, but went through Army Officer Candidate School. He has deployed several times to Iraq and most recently to the NATO headquarters in Europe.

(Right) My brother is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. I am current in his old Squadron, CS9. He is a B-52 pilot and has already deployed to the Middle East in support of the war effort against ISIS. He is a graduate of ENJJPT and was in ‘In the Stairwell’ and was a boxer, as well as a cadet group commander.