Tenn. Chaplain Celebrates 100 Years
By 1st Lt. Tracy Loftis
Public Affairs Officer
Sumner County Cadet Squadron
Not long after Civil Air Patrol’s 75th anniversary celebration, Lt. Col. Ivan Peacock, chaplain of the Sumner County Cadet Squadron in Gallatin, Tennessee, observed a huge milestone of his own. Peacock celebrated his 100th birthday on Jan. 9.
The Sumner County squadron brought friends, family, members of the community and current and former Civil Air Patrol members together two days later, on Jan. 11, to join in his celebration. Guests included Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown, country singer/songwriter Ben Cesare, members of the Gallatin Chapter of the American Legion and CAP’s Southeast Region commander, Col. Barry Melton, and Southeast Region chaplain, Lt. Col. Sergio Freeman.
The celebration at Sumner County Regional Airport, where the squadron meets each week, included a performance of the National Anthem and Cesare’s rendition of Toby Keith’s “American Soldier.” Mayor Brown issued a proclamation in honor of Peacock’s special day, and Melton presented a plaque on behalf of CAP. A reception was held in Peacock’s honor after the ceremony.
Peacock joined CAP at 79 and continues to serve his squadron and community with dedication. He regularly attends Sumner County squadron meetings, opening and closing each meeting with prayer, and oversees the monthly character development lessons for the unit’s 16 cadets.
“I’ve always liked teaching young people,” he said.
He also serves his community through the Seventh-day Adventist Church and as a volunteer at his local library. In addition, he is involved in SilverSneakers, a fitness program that encourages older adults to stay active.
Until just a few years ago, Peacock actively participated in physical training days alongside the cadets. His favorite part of being a CAP member is having the opportunity to teach young people and to guide them in their own paths of growth and development.
Commitment to service has been a lifelong journey, beginning with Peacock’s years in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was raised a Quaker and did not believe in committing violence, but he was still determined to serve his country. He did not carry a weapon, but he did serve on the medical team to care for wounded soldiers. He and another soldier were in charge of a medical tent in Australia and New Guinea.
After the war, Peacock continued his life of service through missionary work in Iran, Honduras, Thailand and Canada. He spent 10 years in Iran and was the head of that country’s first physical therapy clinic.
Eventually, circumstances led Peacock to Portland, Tennessee, where he and his family settled down and made their home and where he was led to the local CAP squadron.