Former Four-Star General Speaks at Veterans Day Event

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Robert Charles Oaks

Veterans Day isn’t until tomorrow, but residents of Cedar Hills, Utah, honored the national holiday a few days early with a devotional featuring the first Latter-day Saint four-star general.

Elder Robert Charles Oaks a Vietnam veteran, spoke on the importance of honoring our country’s veterans, saying:

We never waste our time when we remember and give honor to our veterans.

Oaks continued speaking to those attending the event, sharing some of his experiences from serving in the Untied States Air Force and as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Herald Extra reports that Oaks attended the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and graduated with the academy’s first graduating class in 1959.

US Air Force 1959 graduating class
U.S. Air Force Academy, Graduating Class 1959. Image via gazette.com

Since his graduation, Oaks continued to serve in the military for 35 years, up until he retired in 1994. As part of his military service, Oaks was a command pilot and flew numerous combat missions during the Vietnam War. With more than 4,000 flying hours and more than 300 combat hours under his belt, Oaks became the first ever Latter-day Saint to receive the ranking of a four-star general.

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President Gordon B. Hinkley called Oaks as a Seventy in 2000. Four years later when Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf was called to the Quorum of the Twelve, Oaks replaced him in the Presidency of the Seventy and was later released in 2009.