Cover photo for Colonel Handy's Obituary
Colonel Handy Profile Photo
1940 Colonel 2017

Colonel Handy

March 3, 1940 — January 11, 2017

Services for retired Col. M.L. Handy, 76, of Harker Heights, will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Killeen. Military honors will follow.

Mr. Handy died Jan. 11, 2017, in Harker Heights.

He was born March 3, 1940, in Tulsa, Okla.

Col. Handy married his first wife, Becky, in 1962. She later passed away. He graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1963. He enlisted in the Army and attended Officers Candidate School graduating as a field artillery officer in 1964. He initially served in field artillery assignments and then attended both fixed-wing and rotary-wing flight schools. Upon graduation from flight school, he served in Vietnam as a helicopter gunship platoon commander.

After Vietnam, he was an instructor at the Army Aviation School. He then attended the Artillery Officers Command Course and afterward, commanded a field artillery battery at Fort Sill, Okla. During his second tour in Vietnam, he was an aviation battalion operations officer and then commanded the 128th Assault Helicopter Company. He then returned to the aviation school, where he served as chief of the instructor pilot training branch. After this, he attended the Command and General Staff College and then was sent to Germany.

In Germany, he became an artillery battalion executive officer and then an artillery brigade operations officer. He then took command of the 71st Assault Helicopter Company. Upon leaving Germany, he was assigned as the senior emergency actions officer, National Military Command Center, JCS, Pentagon.

After leaving the Pentagon, he commanded the 129th Attack Helicopter Battalion in the 101st Air Assault Division. He then returned to the aviation school to play a part in the establishment of the Aviation Branch. He then attended the Army War College.

After the War College, he was assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he started the National Training Center Lesson Learned publication for the Army. At this point, he was selected for brigade command, being one of the first colonels to be qualified to fly the Apache.

Col. Handy then came to Fort Hood to command the Apache Training Brigade and trained the first eight Apache battalions to enter the Army. He then returned to the aviation school as the director of the Department of Tactics and deputy assistant commandant. He returned to Fort Hood becoming the director of Reserve Component Support and retired in 1993 after almost 31 years of service.

After retirement, he enjoyed hunting and fishing, and most of all, teaching his grandchildren about those activities.

In 2013, he married Mies, who made him happier than any man should be allowed. She was his second chance at life.

His awards and decorations include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, three awards of the Legion of Merit, two awards of the Bronze Star, 31 awards of the Air Medal for over 1,000 hours flown under direct combat conditions, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two awards of the Army Meritorious Service Medal, four awards of the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnamese Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the Vietnamese Campaign Medal.

Col. Handy was also authorized to wear the Master Army Aviation badge, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification badge, the Vietnamese cross of gallantry with palm, and the Presidential Unit Citation. He was a member of the Artillery Officers Candidate School hall of fame.

Survivors include his wife, Mies; sons, Greg Handy and his wife, Julie, of Trophy Club, and Robert Handy and his wife, Stacey, of Cedar Park; and six grandchildren, Brandon, Owen, Kaitlyn, Jack, Ashley and Kaitie.

In lieu of flowers, donate to the cancer research of your choice.



Memorial Service

Saint Christopher's Episcopal Church
2800 Trimmier Rd.
Killeen, TX  76542
Saturday, January 21, 2017
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