Wednesday Nov 01, 2023

Episode 21: Serving, and continuing to honor those who served with Gary Banz

This is the second episode dedicated to veterans as we approach Veterans Day Nov 11, 2024.

Marilyn and co-host Dana talk with Gary Banz about his service, as well as what he has done as a veteran to honor other veterans.

Gary Banz completed his 28-year public educator career at Midwest City High School in 1998.  He was a teacher/coach in the Putnam City school district from 1970 to 1982 and at Ada High School from 1982 to 1985. 

Banz served 12 years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives representing east Midwest City, Nicoma Park, Choctaw, and southeast Oklahoma county.  As a legislator, he held several leadership positions including majority whip and chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs, House Rules, and House Ethics Committees.

Banz served in the US Army from 1968 to 1970 and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal in 1970.  He served in the US Army Reserve from 1982 to 1990 and was awarded the Army Achievement Medal in 1985. 

Gary was co-founder and executive director of Oklahoma Honor Flights (OHF) from 2009 to 2016.  Serving as flight commander on 24 flights, he and volunteers of OHF took 2,055 veterans from 226 Oklahoma communities to Washington, DC to see their memorials courtesy of generous Oklahomans contributing $2.5 million.  That effort led to the publishing of the documentary “Journey to Honor” in 2016 and a book he authored in 2017 entitled Just in Time.  

He is a lifetime member of Leadership Oklahoma from Class XVII.  Oklahoma Boys’ Basketball Coaches Association inducted Banz into their Hall of Fame in 2014.  Southern Nazarene University recognized Banz with the “Patriot in Kingdom Service” award in June 2017.  In 2019 the Oklahoma Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) honored Banz with their prestigious Medal of Honor.

Banz graduated from Southern Nazarene University in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1973.  He is married to wife Linda and they have three children and six grandchildren

Comments (0)

To leave or reply to comments, please download free Podbean or

No Comments

Copyright 2023 All rights reserved.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Version: 20240320