Gil Watkins, Army National Guard Veteran
Gil Watkins enlisted in the Army with a dream—to attend flight school. That decision led to a life-long career of serving our country, flying helicopters for 30 years and airplanes for 10 years.
All of Gil’s family had served in some capacity in WWII although none were career military. Gil broke the mold, serving five years in the Army and 34 years in the Army National Guard. At retirement, he had climbed the ranks to a Chief Warrant Officer 5.
Throughout his 40 years of military service, Gil was deployed to all parts of the world; Southwest Asia, South America, Afghanistan, Kuwait and everywhere on the Arabian Peninsula.
He flew Med Evac missions in Desert Storm, and had 100 Iraqi’s approach their aircraft and surrender, something he will never forget.
He has truly enjoyed the mission, serving our country as an aviator. To alleviate stress, Gil also enjoyed playing golf in many unique and interesting golf courses throughout the world. He feels very fortunate to have established so many great friendships over the years, many have become just like family to him.
At age 59, he visited Afghanistan, his last military deployment as he retired when he turned 60. This led him right into the next chapter of his life, flying air medical helicopters in the civilian world. Gil flew med evac helicopters in the military and had a role as an instructor pilot in Night Vision Goggles (NVG’s).
Med-Trans just happened to have a base exactly where Gil wanted to live in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. “I applied, and as they say, the rest is history. I was hired by Med-Trans as a med evac pilot. They care more about their employees than any other helicopter division or company that I have seen over the course of my career,” explains Gil.
Gil feels fortunate to be able to continue to use his aviation skills to serve others. The military taught him how to deal with many challenging situations and people, something he continues to face in his civilian role as a Helicopter Emergency Medical Services pilot. Gil said, “I remember flying a young girl who had her face partially blown off from an explosion. She would come back and visit over the years after her numerous reconstructive surgeries. Ten years later, we flew her a second time as a high-risk OB patient. Both flights were very successful, and I remember her to this day as we really made an impact on her life.”
GMR is grateful for Gil for his dedication and service to our country as well as his commitment and passion to our company and the overall mission of serving others!