Geneva man, 'Black Sheep Squadron' pilot gives back in Marine Corps birthday

  • Kyle Moore of Geneva is a Marine Corps veteran and was a Harrier pilot in the famed "Black Sheep Squadron." He's active in Geneva's American Legion Post.

      Kyle Moore of Geneva is a Marine Corps veteran and was a Harrier pilot in the famed "Black Sheep Squadron." He's active in Geneva's American Legion Post. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Kyle Moore organized last year's birthday celebration in Geneva for the Marine Corps.

      Kyle Moore organized last year's birthday celebration in Geneva for the Marine Corps. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/20/2020 5:22 PM

Kyle Moore is a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps reserves who flew Harrier jets as part of the famed "Black Sheep Squadron" in two tours in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 during his 12 years of active duty.

The 47-year-old Geneva resident also organized a birthday for the Marine Corps last November and has been guest speaker of the American Legion Post 75 Memorial Day remembrances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

One of his good friends and a fellow pilot, Lt. Col. Chris Raible, was killed in September 2012 when Camp Bastion in Afghanistan was overrun by insurgents.

"He didn't come home. So for me, Memorial Day is very personal. I knew him, I know his wife, I know his kids," Moore recalled. "For Gold Star families, like my friend's family, Memorial Day is every day."

Moore served in the Marines from 1995 through 2007 before entering the reserves.

His wife, Anne Marie, is from Batavia which led them to move to the Fox Valley in January 2011. Moore got involved at Geneva's post and last Nov. 10, he organized a birthday party commemorating the 244th anniversary of the corps' establishment in 1775.

Birthday celebrations for the corps are somewhat common, but Geneva's post hadn't had a recent celebration. Now, it will become a yearly event, and Moore is looking forward to the 245th birthday later this year.

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"It was a really great night. It hadn't been done for years," Moore said. "I asked (Post Cmdr.) Brian (Noonan) if that was something we could add to our annual schedule. He said absolutely, so I ran with it."

At the party, the oldest Marine in the room gets the first slice of cake. The youngest Marine gets the second piece, signifying the passing from one generation to the next, Moore explained.

Like other post members, he was disappointed when the city canceled its annual Swedish Days Festival.

Normally, Moore and other post members would be working the beer tent and mingling with their neighbors.

"That's a tough one," he said. "It's such a great outreach opportunity not only for us, but Geneva as a whole. We understand why."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Moore is in the active reserves and works as a commercial pilot for Southwest Airlines.

His schedule can't ensure he is front-and-center at every post event, but he does his best to be part of the color guard for Geneva High School football games. Moore also wants to recruit commercial pilots in the area to the post because most of them have some type of military experience.

"There's been a real resurgence at the post," Moore said. "We're hoping to pick up the momentum once things are clear again (of COVID-19). It's a great way to give back to your community."

• Do you know of veterans helping other veterans? Share your story at veterans@dailyherald.com.

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