Retired Brig. Gen. Alfred P. Bunting, Burlingame, Kansas, passed away Feb 19, 2020, from complications of an automobile accident.
A native of Kennett, Missouri, he joined the Army in 1948 at age 17, and served as an infantryman in Korea and Japan and met the love of his life Toni while assigned at Fort Riley. He joined the 127th Fighter Bomber Squadron of the Kansas Air National Guard in March 1953, and rose through the ranks, serving as a first sergeant and ultimately obtained the highest enlisted grade of chief master sergeant. He was direct commissioned a 1st Lt. in January 1962. He served two five-year tours at the Pentagon with his final assignment as chief of staff of the Air National Guard from 1983 to 1985.
He returned to Kansas in 1985 and was promoted to brigadier general and served as assistant adjutant general - Air and commander of the Kansas Air National Guard until he retired in October 1990 with 43 years of service. He is the only military member to obtain the rank of chief master sergeant and also become a general officer.
Bunting was honored by the non commissioned officers under his command with the "Order of the Sword." This is the highest honor that can be bestowed on an officer by enlisted men and women. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal. He was inducted into the Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame on 5 November 2006.
He was an avid horseman, who kept and drove at least one team of horses on their ranch for 40 years, until age 86.
Graveside inurnment services with full military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 in the Serve & Protect garden at Memorial Park Cemetery. A Celebration of Life Reception will be held from noon until 2 p.m. at the Ravenwood Lodge, 10147 SW 61st, Topeka.
Memorial contributions may be made to Heroes Among Us, 4335 NE Meriden Road, Topeka, KS 66617.
Dove Southwest Chapel is assisting with arrangements. To leave a special message for the family online, visit www.DoveTopeka.com.