Captain LeLand Timothy Haun, U.S.A.F. Scholarship
Captain Haun was born in Fresno, CA on April 25, 1963. He died on June 25, 1996 at the age of 33, during the terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers military billet in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. At the time, he was serving as a U.S. Air Force Navigator flying in a C130 with the 71st Rescue Squadron out of Patrick AFB, Florida.
Tim grew up in Clovis, CA with his mother, Carol, father, Lee, and younger sister Lauri. He graduated from Clovis West High School in 1981. While at Clovis West he was a member of the volleyball team, Ski Club, International Club, and Physics Club. During his youth, Tim was a member of Hope Lutheran Church and also was a member of the Dry Creek 4-H Club. As a member of the 4-H, he had a number of beef steers that he showed at the Fresno District Fair.
Tim lived in Interlaken, Switzerland during the summer of 1981 as an American Field Service exchange student. He attended Fresno State and graduated in May of 1988 with Bachelor’s Degrees in both Art and Industrial Arts. During college he participated in Fresno State’s first London Semester in the Spring of 1984. He played on the Fresno State Volleyball Team and also took up windsurfing.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Tim went through the Air Force ROTC program at Fresno State and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in May 1988. On completion of navigator training, Tim was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, AZ until April of 1995. During the Gulf War, early in 1991, Tim flew with his squadron out of Davis-Monthan. At that time, he served as a navigator on an EC130, a plane involved in electronic countermeasures. Tim flew 230 combat hours in the EC130 earning the Air Medal. While stationed in the Gulf, Tim designed and painted the nose art of the military aircraft for his squadron. One time during the war, the navigational electronics failed in his EC130. Tim had to use astronomical science to “navigate by the stars” which earned him the nickname “Zen”.
From April 1995 until his death Tim was stationed with the 71st Rescue Squadron at Patrick AFB, Florida. Shortly before his death, Tim had been granted Regular Officer status, a permanent rank in the United States Air Force. Tim was an outstanding officer and received the following medals recognizing his commitment to serving his country:
- Purple Heart
- Air Medal
- Aerial Achievement Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster
- Air Force Commendation Medal
- Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor
- Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal
- Southwest Asia Service Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters
From a young age, Tim enjoyed designing and building things, but excelled at taking them apart. He built several train sets with complete dioramas, and when finished, would immediately begin dismantling them in order to go on to bigger and better projects. In high school he owned several MG roadsters which he was always tinkering with. In college he acquired a 1956 Mini-Cooper S which he drove for a few days, and then began disassembling. It remained in little pieces until he sold it eight years later.
While stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Tim met Jenny Vargas. In 1990, they married, and at the age of 27, Tim became Dad to Jenny’s two pre-teen children. Tim was a very sociable and easy-going person, who had many varied interests and enjoyed working on projects. Before his death he had designed a house with plans to build for his family upon his return from the Gulf War. Tim was often thought of as a quiet man, but family and close friends remember him as a jokester, comedian, ferocious reader of books, and artist, and foremost, a family man.
The Captain Leland T. Haun Endowed Scholarship was initiated by Leslie W. and Karen L. Fullerton, the Haun family, friends, and Fresno State alums.