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Lonnie's Story

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Graveside services for Lonnie S. (Budd) Beasley Jr. Colonel, U.S. (Retired) with 30 years of service will be 12 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. COL Beasley passed away Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lonnie and Marian Beasley, and sister Becky Beasley Howard. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Betty Lou, (Radle) Beasley, two brothers, Ron Beasley and wife Ann of Milsap, Texas and Richard Beasley and wife Susan of Corsicana and several nieces and nephews.
Budd was born July 20, 1940 in Corsicana. He graduated from Stephen F. Austin State College in Nacogdoches, Texas with a bachelor's degree. He entered the U.S. Army in 1963 and was commissioned in Armor and later entered flight school. He was a Master Army Aviator qualified in numerous helicopters. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit w/Oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with OLC, Meritorious Service Medal, Air medal w/V device, 36 Air Medals, Army Commendation Medal w/3OLC, three Meritorious unit awards, Vietnam service Medal, Army Service Ribbon Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service medal, and several Vietnam unit gallantry awards.
He was assigned to Vietnam from 1966-67 with the 335th Assault Helicopter Company, where he won the Distinguished Flying Cross. After returning from Vietnam he was stationed at Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, Georgia. He was a helicopter instructor pilot and instrument examiner, and also won the "Broken Wing Award" for landing a disabled aircraft. He was also qualified as an AH-I Cobra Instructor pilot.
He returned to Vietnam in 1970 with the 227th Aviation Unit, where he commanded the "infant Nett Team." After returning stateside he was with 1/9th Air Cav at Fort Hood. He commanded D Troop and C Troop 7/17 Cav. Following that command he was the Aide De Camp to the III Corps Commander, Gen. Robert Shoemaker.
In 1978 he was assigned to Fort McPherson, Georgia where he was Aide to U.S. Forces Commander, Gen. Shoemaker. He then was assigned to Katterbach, Germany as Commander of the 501st Aviation Battalion, after leaving Germany, he went to the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and then was assigned as the Aviation Officer for the 1st U.S. Army, Fort Meade, Maryland.
In 1988 he was assigned back to Fort Hood as the Commander of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. His final assignment was at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as the Assistant President of the Physical Disabilities Board. He retired to Harker Heights in 1992 with his wife Betty.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the American Cancer Association.
The family will receive visitors from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen.
Published on February 26, 2018
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