Eddie Hair was born in Charleston, SC and grew up in Charleston and Barnwell County, SC. His gggggrandfather, Peter Hair, (Hayr, Hare, Heer) arrived from Württemberg, Germany and entered Charles Town Harbor is 1749. The Hair’s have been fighting for the USA, and South Carolina, since gggggrandfather Peter arrived, with his wife, and (2) children. Three of us Hair’s served with The Herd in Nam.
Since it was a family tradition to serve in the military, Eddie joined the Army in 1967, as he decided he was not ready for college, not disciplined, and always was wondering how it would feel to jump into the clouds as this seemed to be more exciting than algebra and chemistry. A cousin was already in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, so the Cochran boots and airborne dress code added suspicion to jumping from perfectly functioning airplanes.
He was inducted at Fort Jackson, SC and sent to Fort Gordon, Ga for basic. Infantry AIT was taken at Fort Dix, NJ, then Jump School at Fort Benning with 42nd Company. He was then sent to the 82nd Airborne Division and assigned TDY to West Point to train cadets. From West Point, he was sent home for 30 days prior to being sent to the 173rd Airborne Brigade (SEP) in Vietnam from 9/68- 9/69. He returned to the 82nd Airborne Division HHC/1/504th Recon in 1969.
While with the Herd in Nam, he served as Assistant Gunner, RTO, Rifleman, and Night Recon Team Point Man. He did not receive the Medal of Honor, but received the normal Nam medals including the CIB. The only wounds received were pungi sticks and jungle rot, which was SOP for the Herd and “Contact Charlie” 1st Batt, Headhunter Plt.
Upon returning to the 82nd, he was offered an early out of the Army if he would be a cop in Washington, DC, which he rejected. Eddie completed his (3) year tour of duty as a paratrooper.
Since he learned about various destructive devices such as M-60s, M-16s, claymore mines, frags, and C-4, he decided to move to the next level and worked (33) years at the Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex, Savannah River Site in Aiken, SC until retirement in 2005.
After spending 10 months in foxholes in The Central Highlands in deep cogitation while looking at the moon, lamenting about life, and the “re-newed” meaning of life, he decided if he lived through The Nam Experience, it would be a good idea to go college, since he had now achieved discipline, and could see “The Big Picture”. This personal “foxhole” decision in Nam would be a good one.
After Eddie ETS’d from the Army on 9/1970, he received an AS in Nuclear Engineering, did additional engineering studies with USC-Aiken, received a BS from Southern Illinois University, received a MBA from Nova Southeastern University, and did his doctoral studies in Administration, Instruction, and Curriculum with the University of Nebraska. All the formal education was secondary to his PhD received in the 173rd Airborne Brigade and The Central Highlands of South Vietnam.