On Monday, July 3rd, at Stonecrest in Lafayette, Chaplain Lt. Col. Ivan Peacock was presented with a plaque honoring him as the number one Chaplain out of 600 Chaplains in the Civil Air Patrol of his region. Mr. Peacock has recently retired after 21 years of service as a Chaplain for the Civil Air Patrol. On January 8th, Peacock celebrated his 100 birthday. “He does not seem like he’s 100,” said CAP member 1st Lt. Tracy Loftis. “He is still (at the meetings) without fail.” Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown read a proclamation honoring Peacock on his 100th birthday.
The Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the Air Force, performing search and rescue and other missions across the United States.
As a chaplain, Peacock teaches a character development class to the young cadets about CAP’s core values. “I’ve always liked teaching young people,” Peacock said. Teaching and serving others has been a lifelong mission of Peacock’s.
Although he was raised Quaker, a religion which is against participating in war, Peacock chose to follow the footsteps of his ancestors and serve his country.
When he enlisted in the U.S. Army, he didn’t carry a weapon but served on the medical team using his education in nursing. He and another soldier were in charge of a medical tent in Australia and New Guinea.
The army found him irreplaceable, and he was not allowed to leave after 18 months serving overseas like the others in his unit.
So, he found himself in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where twice he dodged death. The second time was when a bomb landed at an incline rather than straight down, which would have killed 100 men.
“They say we all have a guardian angel, so my guardian angel must have turned that bomb,” Peacock said.
After using the G.I. Bill to get his degree in physical therapy, he and his new wife, Martha, spent more than a decade serving as missionaries in Iran, Honduras, Thailand, and Canada.
They spent 10 years in Iran, where Peacock was head of the country’s first physical therapy clinic.
“I loved the country,” he said. “The people were so nice.”
Peacock moved to Tennessee after his missionary career to work at a Portland, Tenn. hospital, where he and his family have settled down since.
Now, Peacock is active in CAP, the Seventh-Day Adventist church, fitness program Silver Sneakers and as a volunteer at the Portland library.
And he doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon.