Recently, I had the great pleasure of meeting Guy and Pat Horanberg (Signal subscribers since 1983) who were brought to my attention by my good friend Robin Clough at SCV’s Senior Center.
These two have the distinction of being my first husband and wife Veteran duo interview and what fun it was. I have to say, as I jotted notes of our discussion and poured over their documentation, I couldn’t help but think, “Will I be adept enough to provide these wonderful patriots a suitable account of their long time service to our Country?”
Anyway, here goes. . .
Pat Horanberg, maiden name Patricia Ann Kelley, was born Nov. 8, 1949 in Washington D.C., but at age 14 her Father, who served in the U.S. Army, was assigned to Stuttgart, Germany, so for two years Pat’s family lived there.
Afterwards, they relocated back to the U.S. and lived at Fort Lee, Virginia, while her Father served in Vietnam.
Pat attended her 10th and 11th grades in Germany, but she graduated June 16, 1967 from Prince George High School in Prince George, Virginia.
Afterwards, she attended Portsmouth General Hospital School of Nursing in Virginia, (which was affiliated with Old Dominion College) from September 1967 becoming a Registered Nurse in May 1970.
Del Rio, Texas
Pat joined the U.S. Air Force Jan. 7, 1971, and took her induction and medical training at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita, Texas – which is the United States’ largest training base and most diversified in Air Education and Training Command.
While going through the recruiting process, an Air Force Captain recommended that she begin her career in Hawaii, Bermuda or Del Rio, Texas.
She chose Laughlin Air Force Base at Del Rio, Texas, perhaps because she knew full well that is where young men trained to become pilots.
While at Laughlin, she met Rich Wibbeler, a young pilot trainee, at the base laundromat and they began seeing each other.
Rich roomed with two other trainees including Guy Horanberg whom Pat was introduced to by Rich. Soon afterwards, Guy asked Pat to join him to the “Ides of March Party” on March 15, 1971, and promptly swept her off her feet and accordingly she swept other suitors away. It was pure magic.
Suit and Tie Attire
Guy Robert Horanberg was born Oct. 16, 1946, in Lockport, New York, near the Erie Canal and attended the very formal De Sales High School, a Catholic school where suits and tie were required attire.
Guy graduated June 19, 1964, and then he attended Michigan State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Residential Design graduating in December 1968.
Guy’s Dad was a WWII Veteran and that may have inspired him to join Michigan State’s ROTC program for a while, providing him his first taste of military rigors.
Guy spotted a Navy advertisement offering free rides in a T-34 trainer airplane but he had to pass a written test, which he did in flying colors (no pun intended).
That free flight hooked Guy and he knew that somehow he would become a military pilot one way or another.
Qualified to Fly Jets
On Jan. 1, 1969 Guy joined the U.S. Navy which took him to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, where after Boot Camp he was required to fly a T-34. Flying that aircraft could qualify him to continue his pilot training.
Guy easily qualified and was commissioned to officer status in the summer of 1969. Next he qualified to fly jet aircraft at Mississippi’s Meridian Naval Air Station. He trained there for eight months.
Afterwards, he returned to Pensacola for aircraft carrier and gunnery training for one month and then he was off to the Naval Air Station Kingsville in south Texas (one of the U.S. Navy’s premier locations for Navy jet aviation training) for Advanced Jet Training where he flew Korean era F-9 Cougars also known as the “Lead Sled.”
Pilot Jumps Ship
Guy sensed that his flying future with the Navy held much uncertainty, so he jumped ship so to speak and joined the U.S. Air Force.
Joining that branch took him to Laughlin Air Force Base at Del Rio, Texas, where destiny led him to Patricia Kelly.
During Guy’s six months of T-38 flight training, he managed to impair his ACL resulting in a three month setback, so by the time he graduated it was August 1971. Guy mused that he graduated in a Class of One.
Following graduation, Guy began flying Generals and other high level officers for special meetings and events to various bases around America.
During his almost 11 years of service, he flew all types of airplanes including Lockheed’s C-130 cargo plane, Rockwell’s T-39 Sabreliner mid-size business jet, and more.
Guy also flew on assignments in Thailand, South Korea, Micronesia, and Philippines, among other parts of the world.
Captain Guy R. Horanberg was Honorably Discharged June 18, 1979 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
Injured ACL Leads to Marriage
Digressing to Guy’s injured ACL at Del Rio, Guy was sent to San Antonio’ Hospital for recovery. Since Pat was a registered nurse, she determined it was prudent to regularly visit Guy to insure that he received proper care, hence their romance blossomed.
Guy and Pat Horanberg were married Nov. 25, 1972 at Bergstrom Air Force Base at Austin, Texas.
Pat’s military service includes 12 years active duty, and 14 years of Reserved Duty which led her to regularly accompany Guy wherever his flying assignments took him around the World.
Since all military bases have hospitals, Pat’s expertise enabled her to join Guy wherever he was sent.
Del Rio to Saugus
Pat’s military highlight was serving at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines where she learned to scuba dive and free fall parachute. On her first free fall jump, she landed in a tree at a housing development. Guy just loved her adventurous ways.
After Guy’s Air Force service, he became a corporate pilot flying out of Van Nuys, California, which led him to flying many famous personalities including the likes of Paul McCartney, Presidents George W. Bush and George H. Bush, etc.
Guy and Pat purchased a new home in Saugus (Santa Clarita), California in 1983 where they live to this day.
These days, Guy is still busy flying special customers on request.
After Pat’s service she stayed busy in her medical profession and for 10 years she served as Vice President of Operations at Facey, and Guy volunteered at Henry Mayo Hospital in Valencia, California.
From the spring of 1971 in Del Rio, Texas, to this very day in Saugus these two great American Veterans have constantly been at each other’s side.