In recognition of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the Destin Chamber is hosting Col. (Ret.) Patricia S. Blassie. A decorated Air Force Veteran, Blassie will share her inspiring story about her brother's interment as the Vietnam Unknown Soldier in the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery and her family's journey to identify and reclaim his remains. This is a story of perseverance, determination, service and truth.
Colonel Patricia S. Blassie retired militarily on July 31, 2018, while serving as the Deputy Director, Directorate of Manpower, Personnel and Services of Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. She continued to serve in this capacity as a Federal Employee until Dec. 31, 2019.
Throughout Colonel Blassie’s career, she has served in a variety of capacities to include: Commander, Air Reserve Personnel Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.; Executive Officer to the Chief of Air Force Reserve and Commander Air Force Reserve Command; and served twice as a Mission Support Group Commander at the 911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pa., and the 459th Air Refueling Wing, Andrews AFB, Md.
Prior to receiving a direct commission through the Deserving Airman’s Program in 1989, Colonel Blassie served as an enlisted Airman and attained the rank of Master Sergeant. Her collective years of service totals 40 years.
Colonel Blassie was the principal advisor to her family in the identification of her brother 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie. On Memorial Day 1984, unbeknownst to the Blassie Family, Lieutenant Blassie was interred as the Vietnam Unknown Soldier, Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery, Va. He was disinterred from the Tomb of the Unknowns in May 1998, identified by DNA testing and brought home to his final resting place at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo, on July 11, 1998.
1984 Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications, University of Missouri, St. Louis
1993 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
2001 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2005 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., in-residence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 Masters of Strategic Studies, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Good Conduct Medal
Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant – April 1989
First Lieutenant – May 1991
Captain – August 1993
Major – August 1998
Lt Colonel – September 2002
Colonel – February 2006
The cost is $45. Payment is required at the time of registration.