TOPEKA (KSNT) – Living across rural Kansas throughout his life, Colonel Ron Cobb always looked for ways to make a difference. Serving in the military for three decades, the Colonel would get that opportunity on a global scale.
Cobb had quite the unique recommendation to kick off his military journey.
“I was a police chaplain volunteer with the Topeka Police Department,” Cobb said. “My wife said, you enjoy that work so much you ought to join the Army Reserve, or Army National Guard.”
That advice set in motion a 30 year career for Cobb, where he’d make a difference worldwide with the Army. The Colonel would serve across Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Bosnia and well beyond.
“When I was in Eagle base, I saw all the heroin and all the hashish that was destroying the country,” Cobb said. “I went to the Islamic leader and I said ‘here is a copy of the 12 steps in your own language.’ Later he said, ‘Would you teach my Imam the 12 steps of AA?’.”
With his background working with mental health patients, Cobb applied those skills wherever he could.
“I was a therapist at Menninger and the Ukrainians wanted to have a chaplain corps,” Cobb said, “so I showed them what a chaplain did at Menninger.”
Another major highlight Cobb reflects fondly on to this day, taking part in a North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) joint task force peacekeeping mission.
“In the middle of the Atlantic on the USS Mt. Whitney, they put me in charge of 12,000 displaced civilians,” Cobb said. “I worked that issue in real great detail, and actually got a commendation medal from the Rear Admiral.”
Looking back at his decades of service across the planet, Colonel Cobb wouldn’t change a thing.
“Being in the military has made me love this country more than you could possibly imagine,” Cobb said. “When you’re willing to die for freedom, all of a suddenly freedom has much more meaning.”
Even now in partial retirement, Cobb is still making a difference where he can, with a clinic where he provides counseling up in Holton.