November 2, 2013

Ron Corbin

Ron Corbin Gets Personal in Beyond Recognition

Ron Corbin served two tours in Vietnam as an Army helicopter and instructor pilot.  He received numerous unit and individual ribbons for combat action, to include being awarded the Air Medal 31 times, once with a “V” device for valor.  Honorably discharged in 1969, he joined the LAPD as a policeman and pilot/instructor pilot for the Air Support Division.  Retiring from LAPD after an on-duty helicopter accident, he finished his college and graduate education.  He holds a Masters in elementary education and a Ph.D. in security administration with an emphasis in terrorism threats to America’s nuclear resources.  Joining the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 1993 as a crime prevention specialist, his specialty was Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).  He attended training in this discipline at the National Crime Prevention Institute, University of Louisville.  His CPTED subject matter expertise led him to be interviewed in Reader’s Digest, Sunset Magazine, PetroMart Business and Las Vegas Life magazines.  He also was responsible for publishing Metro’s in-house training journal, the Training Wheel.  Ron has been a contributing columnist to Las Vegas Now magazine as well as a guest lecturer on Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines, addressing citizens’ personal safety issues.  He is the previous author of stories published in several anthologies, and recently authored BEYOND RECOGNITION (Oak Tree Press), a memoir about his helicopter crash with LAPD.  Ron retired as LVMPD’s academy training manager in 2011.  He and his wife Kathy have three children, six grandchildren, and live in Las Vegas. 

Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I’m a 67-year-old “Country Boy” at heart, born and raised in a small farming town in southeastern Kansas. I’m retired now, living in Las Vegas with my wife of over 47 years. When I tell you of the careers I’ve held, it will probably make one think that I can’t hold a job. So, who am I? Would you believe … an Army helicopter pilot, Los Angeles police officer and helicopter pilot, school teacher, principal, body guard, private investigator, counterterrorism trainer for Department of Energy, director of security for major jewelry company, guard service manager, crime prevention specialist, local city magazine columnist, police magazine editor, police academy training manager, and a special interest lecturer for a cruise lines.
Please tell us your latest news!
I was humbly honored this summer to have won two “First Place Awards” for writing at the Public Safety Writer’s Association  (PSWA) conference.  One was for my book, Beyond Recognition,  in the category of Non-Fiction Book Published. The other was in the category of Non-Fiction Creative Non-Technical Non-Published for a short story titled, Shadows of the Heart; a heart-warming chronicle of how a wife received the news that her police husband had been critically injured in the line of duty, and how she endured the aftermath of his physical and emotional recovery.
What are your hobbies?
Flying helicopters and airplanes was (and still is) always my first love. But my loss of hearing has precluded me from doing that activity anymore. I also umpired baseball for twenty years, from youth through college and minor league. When my children were growing up, I found enjoyment in coaching youth baseball and Pop Warner football. I always like to participate in sports myself; baseball, basketball, golf, racquetball. But after my police-related accident, my physical health has pretty much eliminated that kind of participation.
If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?
My dad. At the age of 35, he died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage. I was just ten years old. I have limited memories of him. I never got to the age where I could understand the things that he experienced in life; his childhood, his WWII service. There is so much missing in life when a child is devoid of a parent at such a young age.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
My in-progress venture is titled Bullet Points. It’s a historical fiction account of a retired LAPD officer who, after his wife commits suicide, retires and moves back to his small home town in Kansas (guess who?). Wanting to put his law enforcement years and sad memories behind him, he soon finds himself involved with a serial killer who shoots his victims in their heads. The wounds are not through-and-through, but no bullets are recovered. And no, it is not an “ice bullet.”
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Ø PSWA Listserv group:
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I wouldn’t exactly call it a “critique group,” but more of a local group of authors and writers with varying backgrounds who meet twice monthly to discuss each other’s individual’s works, and to give encouragement and advice for publishing. It’s called the “Wednesday Warrior Writers,” or commonly referred to as “The W-3.” Most all the W-3 members are former military and/or law enforcement.
This group recently compiled and published an anthology of stories about America’s heroes and patriots. Titled, I Pledge Allegiance…. All the W-3 authors’ proceeds from book sales are being donated to the USO here in Las Vegas. I have a couple stories in this book, one about Bob Hope visiting our basecamp when I was in Vietnam, and another about the young Army warrant officer helicopter pilots and their daring deeds. This book can be ordered through Amazon or the publisher at
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
When I retired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD/Metro) in January 2011, I found myself not adjusting to the “leisure life” of not working each day. I felt “unproductive.” So to keep from driving my wife insane with telling her how she needed to organize her kitchen better (you see where I’m going with this, right?), she started encouraging me to write a book. (Now I know it was her way of getting me “out of her hair” for a few months.)
What was your first published work and when was it published?
For nine years, I wrote many magazine articles for LV Metro’s in-house training magazine, called “The Training Wheel.” I also was a contributing columnist for a magazine called, “Las Vegas Now”, writing personal safety articles.
My first nationally published work was a story in a police anthology called True Blue –Police Stories By Those Who Lived Them. Proceeds from this book were donated to the surviving police families in New York who were loss in the WTC attack on 9-11.
Is there anyone who really mentored or inspired you to keep writing until you were finally published?
My friend and colleague in the W-3 and PSWA, Keith Bettinger, was a great influence on me. A retired Suffolk County, NY police officer, he’s been writing for law enforcement publications for over twenty-five years, and has received eighteen awards for his articles, stories, poems, and books.

Beyond Recognition is the memoir of Ronald Corbin, a former Army combat helicopter pilot and Vietnam veteran who becomes a Los Angeles policeman, and later, a pilot for LAPD’s Air Support Division (ASD). 



Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Nice interview, Ron. Enjoyed learning more about you.

Keith Bettinger said...

Great interview Ron. You're a gifted writer.