Colin Chauret grew up in Bay City during World War II, fascinated by the Battle of Britain and dreaming of becoming a Spitfire pilot. When he graduated, he joined the service.
They taught him to fly, but instead of sending him to battle, they used him to train other pilots. The war ended before he could see combat. But Chauret stayed in, and eventually flew a hundred combat missions in Korea. He later was a staff officer in Vietnam.
He spent more than 30 years in what became the U.S. Air Force, rising to full colonel before he retired. He turns 90 in January, and is still military to the core. Two of his sons and one grandson are Air Force lieutenant colonels. He’s deeply religious, and credits God for saving him from one crash that killed a close friend.
Most afternoons, he walks for exercise in a shopping mall near where they now live in San Antonio, and shakes the hands of every wounded veteran he sees. These days, however, he is more interested in government.
He is worried about the fiscal cliff, the health of his native Michigan and the national debt most of all. But his views are not what you might think. “I am a liberal and damn proud of it,“ he told me, adding, that “after all, Jesus was the greatest liberal of all time.”