John W. Fulps, III, retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, passed away Monday, March 25, 2013. He was born Dec. 13, 1942, in Lockhart, Texas, the son of J.W. Fulps and Marjory Louise Branyon. He was a graduate of Lockhart High School, Class of 1961, where he was very active in football, baseball, track and basketball. He graduated from Southwest Texas State in 1966 with a Baccalaureate Degree in Biology/Chemistry in 1966. He married Valerie Lynn Valentine on Oct. 9, 1965.
He was an Eagle Scout and a Life Time Member of VFW Post 8927 in Lockhart. He taught biology and chemistry at Mathis High School from 1966 to 1969. He was a member of First Christian Church where he served as Trustee for two years.
He joined the United States Air Force in 1969. His military career spanned over 24 years where he served in numerous assignments: Navigator on the 130 Aircraft at Pope AFB from 1970 – 1972; Air Craft Maintenance Officer at Minot AFB, North Dakota from 1972 – 1976; Inspector General Team at Clark AFB, Philippines from 1976 – 1977 and Hawaii from 1977 – 1979; 12th Air Force, Bergstrom AFB from 1979 – 1982, Austin, Texas; 51st AGS, Osan Air Base, Korea from 1982 – 1983; Squadron Commander of the 3rd CRS,Tactical Fighter Wing, Clark AB, Philippines from 1983 – 1986; 1st Air Force, Langley AFB, VA from 1986 – 1991; and Director of Logistics, March AFB, Riverside, CA supporting Operation Desert Shield/Storm from 1991 – 1993.
He was Squadron Commander of the 3rd Component Repair Squadron, Philippines. His Squadron won The Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award in 1986 as one of only six award recipients. He took great pride in the record of achievement that withstood intense competition and proved among the best in the Department of Defense. His Squadron achieved a level of mission accomplishment and equipment readiness that is superior in every respect. The quality of the maintenance program is shown by the 98 percent Sortie Effectiveness Rate maintained as the sorties increased to record levels. While attaining this impressive rate, the Squadron expanded the Avionics Calibration Program resulting in significantly improved weapons systems.
Throughout his 24 years of military service he received a number of Medals and Ribbons: Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award with five Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, Air Force Overseas Service Long Tour Ribbon with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
He attended Avionics Officer Course in 1972. He graduated from Squadron Officers School in 1976, Air Command and Staff College in 1981, Air War College in 1986. He attended Survival Training , Aircraft Maintenance Course and SAC Nuclear Safety Course.
He is survived by his wife, Valerie L. Fulps, of Lockhart; daughter, Constance A. Fulps, of Reston, Va.; son, Michael D. Fulps and wife, Valerie S., of Clear Lake, Texas; and grandchildren Amber Fulps and Jonathan Fulps. He was preceded in death by his parents, John W. and Marjory Louise (Branyon) Fulps.
Arrangements by Eeds Funeral Home, 408 S. Main St., Lockhart, Texas, 78644. He was buried with Military Honors on March 29, 2013 at 10 a.m. in Lockhart City Cemetery. Pallbearers at the funeral home were: Donally Brice, Sandy Dozier, Chris Henrick, Dan Mayfield, Clint Mohle and Ralph Rodriquez. Pastor Randall Frye conducted the funeral services. The Military Honor Guard out of Lackland AFB were at the cemetery services: Detail Commander SSgt Bott, Firing Party Commander SrA Miller, Bugler SrA Roper, NCO in Charge of Body Bearers was SSgt Bott, and Body Bearers: SrA Watts, A1C DeGuzman, A1C Solomon, A1C Castillo, SrA Roper and SSgt Bott.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
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