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State rep visits veterans’ group

Posted on Monday, August 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Ragan, John

John Ragan

Tennessee State Representative John Ragan will be the speaker at the Vietnam Era Veterans’ next meeting set for Thursday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m.

The meeting will be held at Mike’s All American Diner above the Walmart in Shelbyville.

Ragan, the current state representative to the General Assembly for District 33, serves as vice chairman of House Government Operations Committee, on the House Insurance and Banking Committee, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Agriculture and Energy Committee, as vice chairman on NCSL Nuclear Energy Working Group, The Southern States Energy Board and as chairman on the House Energy Task Force.

He is a retired Air Force fighter pilot who has lived in Tennessee since 1992. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and served as a commissioned officer for 24 years. That service included nearly eight years overseas, from the steamy tropics of an unpopular Southeast Asian war as a young man to the dusty deserts of the Middle East as a war zone, unit commander. Beyond cockpit and command duties, Ragan’s military career has also enabled him to work with U.S. senators, foreign military commanders and U.S. ambassadors overseas. Additionally, his military service also afforded him the opportunity participate with and coach U.S. teams at world athletic championships.

After retirement from active duty, Ragan worked as a business consultant to more than 27 companies, many of which are on the Fortune 100 list. His clients’ gains have been in the millions of dollars each. In addition to consulting, Ragan has also worked directly on corporate management staff at a Fortune 20 company with a multi-billion dollar balance sheet.

Eight years ago, he and his wife moved to Oak Ridge to be closer to their daughter, Amanda, who works with the Oak Ridge High School as choral director. Their son, Patrick, an active duty Air Force major, flying F-16’s, has also done his own tour of duty overseas in the deserts of Afghanistan. Both the Ragans’ daughter and son graduated from the University of Tennessee. His granddaughter is on track for U.T. in a decade or two, as well.

Throughout his life, Ragan has been active in a variety of local organizations, including the video ministry at Grace Baptist Church; the local school system, where he fills in as a substitute teacher; a fraternal order of military pilots; and Little League baseball and youth basketball where he coached. Additionally, he helped found and served as an officer for two Air Force Association Chapters.

After earning a master’s in aeronautical sciences from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, he served as adjunct faculty for graduate and undergraduate studies in engineering and accident forensics. Ragan has made education a continuing, life-long pursuit with post graduate and professional studies at the University of Oklahoma, University of Southern California, University of North Carolina and the University of Tennessee, where he also served as adjunct faculty for graduate studies.

His wife, Elizabeth, spends a significant portion of her time as a volunteer with the Oak Ridge School System.

For more information about the Vietnam Era Veterans group or for reservations for the upcoming meeting, please call Tom Taylor at 931-684-2557.