United States of America

Biography for Mike DiGiordano Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of California District 15 Commander Mike is a retired Technical Sergeant (E-6) in the United States Air Force.

He joined the military as a law enforcement specialist in June 1975 and retired as the noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of the Public Affairs Office at Beale Air Force Base. His retirement came at the direction of then Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Sheila Widnall, and at the request of Congressman Wally Herger for the purpose of joining the congressman as a congressional field representative (GS-14 equivalent) in his northern California district office. Mike’s first assignment was with the 100th Security Police Squadron at Beale. He was a patrol dog handler and specialized in explosive detection. He was later the NCOIC of the dog kennel supervising the use of drug detection dogs on the base. He then cross-trained into Public Affairs and was both the chief of community relations and media relations for the wing. He specialized in providing tours to all ages and groups, both locally and internationally, to the U-2 Dragon Lady and SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance missions. He was the media spokesman for the SR-71’s role in surveying the land around Mt. St. Helens after the eruption in 1980. Mike was selected to be part of the Headquarters 8th Air Force Public Affairs office at Barksdale AFB, LA. He was in charge of special projects and worked extensively with the annual bombing and navigations symposiums held each year at the base. He was part of the Space Shuttle Endeavor’s historic trip from Edwards AFB, CA back to “The Cape” in Florida via Barksdale piggy backing aboard a specially-equipped NASA 747. Mike attended the Newspaper Editor’s Course at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, IN, enroute to his next assignment at the 1605th Military Air Support Wing on the island of Terceira, in the Azores. There his base newspaper coverage included a visit by the Vice President George H. W. Bush and a hurricane that nearly destroyed the base. He earned several writing awards which aided in his selection to his next assignment. Mike left the Azores to become an editor for the Pacific Stars and Stripes in Tokyo, Japan. He also covered for vacationing bureau chiefs and was in Okinawa when the Marines finished their new harried pad on Ie Shima, a small island off the Motobu Peninsula on Okinawa. Ie Shima is where famed American journalist Ernie Pyle is buried. Mike returned to the United States stepping into the role of acting NCOIC at George AFB. CA, as units for the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing were deploying to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield. He was the military spokesman when aircraft from the 561st Tactical Fighter Squadron, led the fight into Baghdad on January 17, 1991 – the start of Desert Storm. He spearheaded numerous events honoring the spouses of deployed members to include Military Family Appreciation Day at Disneyland, securing tickets to the Orange Bowl, a Raiders game and several musical concerts for families of deployed members. He was also on the Air Force team for the Family Feud during Military Appreciation Week. He later deployed to Dhahran where he worked both public affairs and protocol functions. He stayed two rotations before returning home. George AFB closed on December 15, 1992, and after delivering video and photos of the closing ceremony to March AFB, CA, he returned to his first base at Beale. During a civic leader tour from Beale to Hill AFB and Nellis AFB, Mike was recognized for his abilities and was offered a position with Congressman Herger. There he stayed five years before moving out of the political arena. Mike retired from Chico Police Department in 2018 after more than 17 years as a community service officer where he helped revive National Night Out for the City of Chico. He worked primarily as a traffic collision investigator. He joined the VFW in October 2012 as a life member in Post 1555. He helped revive and head the Post’s Honor Guard. He is in his fourth year as the VFW CA District 15 Commander and currently the Post Sr. Vice Commander. He is married to his wife, Debbie, who is a life-long Chico resident. They have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. They belong to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge 423, and are members of the Chico Elks RVers. In his spare time he is a volunteer for the California Highway Patrol.