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Randy Curcio's military service spanned the world

| Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Randy Curcio is shown with his wife, Rachel. The couple live in North Belle Vernon.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Randy Curcio of North Belle Vernon.

Randy Curcio's 38-year Air Force career has taken him all over the world, supporting U.S. troops in four military conflicts.

His service was so expansive that he even served in Vietnam at the same time as his father.

Now residing in North Belle Vernon, 63-year-old Curcio grew up in Newell and graduated from Frazier High School in 1968.

He joined the Air Force in January 1969.

He was motivated to serve by his father, Milio Curcio, who was in active duty with the Air Force from 1949-50 and in the Air Force Reserve for nearly 20 years.

Curcio completed his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Both father and son were in Vietnam in 1969, although they never met up overseas.

Milio Curcio was a loadmaster for a C-124, which flew out of Pittsburgh with the 911th Airlift group. He made several trips to Vietnam in the mid 1960s.

He passed away in 1994.

Randy Curcio flew on a C-123 out Lackland Air Force Base. He started as an engine mechanic on C-123, then as a flight mechanic.

“We delivered C-123s,” Curcio said. “We flew them across the ocean and delivered them to Tan Son Nhut Air Force Base (in Saigon).”

Randy Curcio was in Vietnam again in 1972, delivering helicopters to the same air base.

“I was like in and out,” Curcio said. “We delivered planes and got another and flew it there. I called it a short tour because a lot of guys there did their time for a full year. Mine was back and forth.”

He retired in 2005 as master sergeant/production superintendent at the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Randy Curcio served overseas in three other military conflicts.

In Grenada, he helped drop troops for the invasion of the islands in the southeastern Caribbean Sea in 1983.

During Operation Desert Storm, he was a crew chief on a C-130 cargo plane.

“The bullets and the beans, that's what the old guys used to say,” Curcio said of the variety of cargo they delivered to the front.

He also did two tours of duty in Iraq, serving as a production superintendent.

In retirement, Curcio has enjoyed life with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Curcio met his wife, Rachel, through her sister. They've been married 19 years. Rachel and Randy Curcio share more than a monogram – they were both born on May 22 – one year apart.

They have six children. Leslie Chalfont, 43, lives in Belle Vernon and is a case manager for Northwestern Human Services. William Curcio II, 30, is a sea chef in Atlanta. Elizabeth Simoneau, 29, serves in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 171st Air Refueling Wing in Findlay Township.

David Curcio, 24, is serving with the U.S. Army at Fort Riley, Kansas. Randi Curcio, 45, resides in Ohio.

A son, Richard Chalfont, is deceased.

Curcio enjoys working on his 1977 Chevrolet Corvette and taking cruises with his wife. The couple recently went to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to visit his mother, Evelyn.

Rachel Curcio is retired after working 27 years as a nurse at Monongahela Valley Hospital.

Two years ago, Curcio traveled to Hawaii to compete in the Veterans Senior Olympics. He competed in nine ball, horse shoes, and pellet gun shooting competitions.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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