Retired US Army Colonel Mark Stiner told a crowd of over 300, “I’m speechless and was not prepared for the flood of emotion.” Stiner spoke on behalf of his family in a Monday afternoon ceremony dedicating Campbell County Airport as Colonel Tommy C. Stiner Airfield in honor of his father, the late Colonel Tommy C. Stiner.
TOP PHOTO: L-R Judy Stiner, Tom’s wife, Nicole Stiner, Tom’s granddaughter, Mark Stiner, Tom’s son, and Lansden Hill, Tom’s flying partner, surround the work of local artist Joe Bonomo. The piece, when unveiled awed the crowd, will stand in the main office at the airport.
Mark Stiner spoke for the Stiner family at Monday’s airport dedication to his father Tom Stiner
Stiner event emcee US Army retired Logan Hickman detailed that the elder Stiner retired to his native Campbell County after a distinguished career in the US Army. Within a few months of returning home, he transitioned to his next career as county executive (later known as county mayor) of Campbell County from 1992 until 2002. Before he left office, he began a 15 year stint as local businessman Lansden Hill of Pyro Shows flying partner. It was through his time as a pilot in the military and privately out of the Campbell County Airport, along with his love and service to his community, that served as the logical foundation for his name being placed above the hanger at the local airport.
CLICK HERE to see Charlie Hutson’s photo gallery of the Stiner dedication.
Speaking at Monday’s ceremony, Campbell County Mayor E.L.Morton said, “Tom has a long and storied history as a valley boy, mischievous and hard working on the farm.” He added that he served with joy at home and in the military.
Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Clawson, a Campbell County native, said he never quite got over his very first plane ride. The man who piloted a young Melvin and his mother in the early 1970s lifting off from now Stiner Airfield was none other than Tom Stiner. The rest is history as Clawson is a career military man and describes Stiner as his mentor and confidant.
Lansden Hill holds a prized possession; Tom’s travel bag given to him by Tom’s wife, Judy
One of Tom’s best friends and 15-year flying partner, Lansden Hill, was the ring leader in orchestrating Monday’s ceremony as well as working to have the airport named for Stiner. Hill said he’d seen lots of dedications around the country at airports thinking it would be a good idea if Campbell County could do that someday for someone. But for whom? Then while flying one day, Hill looked over at Tom, but thought Tom would never hear of it. He said, “Tom loved his country and served it well. He loved his county and served it well. He loved his family and served it well. And he loved this airport.”
Mark Stiner said, “The Stiner family appreciates it all and is impressed and humbled by today’s ceremony.” He summed it up by saying “Tom would forever be proud to have his name associated with the airport.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/22/2019-6AM-CHARLIE HUTSON PHOTOS)