One Nation Under God Speaker
Col. Richard "Dick" Toliver

Colonel Richard Toliver was the featured speaker at the One Nation Under God breakfast on Saturday. Born in Bellevue, La., in 1938. When he was just a toddler, his father became embroiled in a boundary dispute with a racist neighbor who was brazenly stealing land and livestock that had belonged to the family for generations. Toliver’s father made a brave stand for himself and his family, but they were eventually forced to escape their home when they were faced with the threat of the local Ku Klux Klan.

Despite the traumatic incident which ruined his family financially, Toliver overcame a host of obstacles via a combination of faith, patriotism and personal intestinal fortitude. A 26-year veteran of the United States Air Force, he was trained and mentored by original Tuskegee Airmen. He is a “Top Gun” fighter pilot who flew 446 combat missions in Southeast Asia. Later he directed the testing and evaluation of several major weapon systems for the Department of Defense and allied military programs. Toliver also held key roles in advanced research, development, and testing of tactical fighter aircraft. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and Air Medal with 27 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Since moving to Arizona in 2003, Toliver has served on the Board of Directors for the West Valley Hospital in Goodyear and held a key role in securing the Congressional Gold Medal for the Tuskegee Airmen. His extensive professional writing experience in the military and private sector has resulted in many articles for newspapers, magazines, and periodicals. He is the author of the book, “An Uncaged Eagle,” an inspirational memoir of victory over adversity as the path to true freedom.

 

Watch Col. Richard “Dick” Toliver’s inspiring speech below.