Lt. Col. Gary D. Baxter served as guest speaker for the 2023 Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus observance of Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 13.
Baxter was on active duty with the U.S. Air Force for more than 27 years. He spoke to the audience at ATU-Ozark about his memories of serving the United States and he shared stories of bravery from his time in the military.
An instructor navigator and flight evaluator during his time in the service, Baxter logged more than 2,000 flying hours. His final U.S. Air Force assignment was as professor of aerospace studies and commander of the U.S. Air Force ROTC at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
Baxter was raised in Crawford County and graduated from Arkansas Tech.
For the past 12 years, he has served as mayor of Mulberry and has helped create millions of dollars in development for the community.
Baxter is past president of the Arkansas Municipal League, the Fort Smith Regional Alliance and the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District. He continues to hold board positions with each of those organizations and he serves on the board for the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System.
Earlier this year, Baxter was named the 2023 rural advocate of the year by the Arkansas Rural Development Commission and the 2023 recipient of the Ed Thicksten Distinguished Service Award from the Alma Area Chamber of Commerce. He has also received a citation from the Arkansas House of Representatives for his service, volunteerism and accomplishments.