William Stanek and the Art of Living

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William Robert Stanek America's CupFor 20 years, William Stanek was the #1 Microsoft guru, and one of the world's leading authorities on Windows, Windows Server, SQL Server, Exchange Server, and web technologies. He is the award-winning author of numerous popular books. As a technology expert, William trained countless professionals, conducted seminars, and wrote extensively about Active Directory, Group Policy, Windows, Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server, IIS, PowerShell, and web technologies. His books and writings were frequently quoted and referenced by peers in their own works and professional publications. William was also quoted by Donald Trump in his business books.

William has been actively involved in the commercial Internet community since 1991. His core business and technology expertise is rooted in over 11 years of distinguished military service. Leveraging this extensive experience, William frequently serves as a subject matter expert and consultant in various fields, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics. His deep understanding of AI technologies, combined with his hands-on approach, makes him a sought-after authority in the industry. He authored technical books primarily for Microsoft, as well as for O'Reilly (http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/2573) and nearly every other major publisher in the US and internationally.

William has an MS with distinction in information systems and a BS in computer science, magna cum laude, from Hawaii Pacific University. He served in the Persian Gulf War as a combat crewmember where flew on numerous combat missions into Iraq and was awarded nine medals for his wartime service, including one of the United States of America's highest flying honors, the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross. Currently, he resides in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children.

William recently rediscovered his love of the great outdoors. When he's not writing, teaching, or giving presentations, he can be found hiking, biking, backpacking, traveling, or trekking in search of adventure. Almost always, he has a Sony Alpha camera in his hand, capturing the beauty of nature as he explores.


William was born in Burlington Wisconsin where he attended Public Schools including Janes School Elementary in Racine Wisconsin. He is the second youngest of five children. After a career in the military, he settled in Washington State, having been captivated by the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

In 1985 he enlisted in the US Air Force and entered a 2-year training program in Intelligence and Linguistics at the Defense Language Institute. After graduation he served in various field operations duties in Asia and Europe. In 1990 he won an appointment to Air Combat School and shortly after graduation served in the Persian Gulf War. During his two tours in the Persian Gulf War, William flew on numerous combat and combat support missions, logging over two hundred combat flight hours. His distinguished accomplishments during the war earned him nine medals, including the United States of America’s highest flying honor, the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal. He earned 29 decorations in his 11-year military career.

In 1994 William earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Hawaii Pacific University. In 1995 he earned his master’s degree with distinction from Hawaii Pacific University. In 1996 he separated from the military, having spent 11 years in the United States Air Force. His last station while in the Air Force was at the 324th Intelligence Squadron, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii.

Born into a family of readers, William was always reading and creating stories. Even before he started school, he read classics like Treasure Island, The Swiss Family Robinson, Kidnapped, Robinson Crusoe, and The Three Musketeers. Later in his childhood, he started reading Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, Herman Melville, Jack London, and Charles Dickens.

William completed his first novel in 1986 when he was stationed in Japan but it wasn’t until nearly a decade later that his first book was published. Since then, he has written and had published over 150 books. In 1997, William was dubbed "A Face Behind the Future" in a feature article about his life in The Olympian. At the time, he was breaking new ground in shaping the future of business on the Internet. Today, William continues to help shape the future of Internet business and Technology in general, writing authoritative books covering these subjects for a variety of publishers.

William has won many awards from his colleagues and the publishing industry. He served in support of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Provide Comfort, and beyond. In precedence order, military honors William received are as follows:

§ Distinguished Flying Cross
§ Air Medal
§ Air Force Commendation Medal
§ Air Force Achievement Medal
§ Joint Meritorious Unit Award
§ Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 4 devices
§ Combat Readiness Medal
§ Air Force Good Conduct Medal with 2 devices
§ National Defense Service Medal
§ Southwest Asia Service Medal with 2 devices
§ Humanitarian Service Medal
§ Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon with 2 devices
§ Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 1 device
§ NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon
§ Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
§ Air Force Training Ribbon
§ Kuwait Liberation Medal
§ Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

*Each device represents an additional award of the same honor.

William shares the innovative writing and organizational techniques that have helped him put 20 million words on the printed page in Effective Writing for Business, College and Life, available in print, audio and digital media from Reagent Press. William's life-long commitment to the printed word has helped him become one of the leading authors in the world today.

It’s been a fairly open secret that William also writes as Robert Stanek. His fiction books have been featured in these printed books: Popular Series Fiction for Middle School and Teen Readers: A Reading and Selection Guide (Children's and Young Adult Literature Reference), Complete Idiots Guide to Elves and Fairies, and Ancient Art of Faery Magick; recommended by the Young Adult library staff at VOYA (Feb 2007), The Journal of Electronic Defense (June 2007), Parenting Magazine (Sept 2008), and others; and featured by Publishers Weekly (April 2009) and others. Reagent Press has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Children's Writer, The Children's Bookshelf, Foreword Magazine, Florida Today, Writer's Digest, The New York Times and other fine publications and periodicals.

William Stanek has been an artist as long as he has been a writer. In the art world, from 1992 to 2021, his original art, photography and paintings were released globally by World Galleries and also featured in independently owned galleries. In Spring 2021, William and his wife regained control over his studio brands, including 360 Studios, 1North Studios, Studio 24 and Robert Stanek Studios, moving to online galleries where he hopes to continue to bring his art to the world. His signed art and photography have the initials WS, RS, or WR, WilliamS, BillS or RobertS, and sometimes his full name as William Stanek or Robert Stanek. His work may also be stamped with the brand name including WG, World Gallery, World Galleries, 360 Studios, 1North, Studio 24, 360, 1N or S24.

Renowned for creating beautiful, vibrant scenes full of wonderful color, William has been called a living legend and national treasure, his words and illustrations have captivated the hearts and minds of millions over the past thirty years. As a combat veteran who is partially disabled and father of a daughter with Down Syndrome, he is a vocal champion of veterans and the disabled. He also is a champion of books and libraries, frequently donating his time and resources to support related causes.

Mr. Pocket Consultant

Pocket Consultants were portable and precise pocket-sized guides that delivered ready answers for day-to-day administration. Pocket Consultants zeroed in on core operations and daily tasks using quick-reference tables, instructions, and lists. Inside each Pocket Consultant, readers got focused information to solve problems and get the job done. "When first released in the late 1990s, Pocket Consultants were a sensation, and due to William's unique style the books helped change the way technical writing was done." "William pioneered techniques and approaches to writing about technology that were adopted throughout the industry. Today you can't open a technical book published anywhere in the world without seeing his influences."

As the author and series editor of the Pocket Consultants, William Stanek poured his decades of hands-on experience with advanced systems management, programming and development into every book. Pocket Consultants were read by millions of readers around the world and translated into dozens of languages.

Some fun facts to share about the Pocket Consultants:

  • William began writing the Pocket Consultant series in 1998, after making a successful transition from a career in the military to a career as a writer.
  • The first Pocket Consultant was published in March 1999. And the very first Pocket Consultant was Windows NT 4.0 Administrator's Pocket Consultant.
  • Windows 8.1 Administration Essentials Pocket Consultant was William's 45th Pocket Consultant and the 55th Pocket Consultant in the series.
  • Foreign editions and translations of his Pocket Consultants have been published in more than 100 countries.
  • The Pocket Consultants have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide
  • Excerpts from the Pocket Consultants appeared on Microsoft websites and training materials read by tens of millions more

When writing Pocket Consultants, one of William Stanek's constant goals was to try to squeeze in as much value as possible and it was one of many reasons the books were read by millions. Pocket Consultants typically also were less expensive than similar books and typically had more meaningful content than similar books. The reason for this was that William's always knew that giving readers a terrific value as well as a terrific resource was greatest in importance. This meant that pound for pound, dollar for dollar, Pocket Consultants were one of the best values around.

Often when people hear the term “pocket,” they think of a diminutive book when what they should be thinking of is the phrase: pocket consultant. Printed Pocket Consultants wouldn’t necessarily fit in your pocket, but they did give readers expert advice that often made them think they had their own personal consultant in their pocket.

Windows 8 Administration Pocket Consultant and Windows Server 2012 Pocket Consultant were both around 700 pages in length. Together, the books gave readers about 1400 pages of practical advice and ready answers across nearly 500,000 words.

Although the books could be used separately, many readers used them together. Why? Because William designed and wrote his books so that they could be used together. In doing so, William made the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

William Stanek wrote his last Pocket Consultant for Microsoft in 2013 and the book was published along with several others in 2014. It was his 45th Pocket Consultant and 62nd book for Microsoft. Other books written for Microsoft that year included several Inside Out books, which were also then published in 2014. The complete list of more than 200 books he's written is here. Rather than transition to Macmillan (which bought Microsoft Press in 2014 after a failed buyout by O'Reilly & Associates), William got back the rights to his work and continued to publish new editions of his work independently, with the help of his son William R. Stanek Jr, who is also a co-author of several books including PowerShell: IT Pro Solutions and PowerShell for Administration: IT Pro Solutions. Their collaboration continues. 

William Robert stanek visiting Yellowstone with his familyFrom William Robert Stanek's blog @ http://robertstanek.blogspot.com/ (Nov 2012)

You know you're doing something right when Hollywood comes knocking for the 6th time, especially when the person on the other end of the line is gushing praise about books they've just finished reading. Those books being Ruin Mist Chronicles (Keeper Martin's Tale, Kingdom Alliance, Fields of Honor, Mark of the Dragon) which are also in YA editions as (The Kingdoms & The Elves of the Reaches 1 - 4 and In the Service of Dragons 1 - 4).

Way back in 2002, the first two times Hollywood came knocking, I was too awestruck to enjoy the moment. All I could think was DreamWorks is considering my books for the movies--and then before that could sink in Fox was there considering my books too. I was dancing on top of the world, especially with the same books doing so well on Amazon's bestseller lists.

Dancing on clouds was fun but it wasn't until Hollywood came knocking a third time that I knew I'd really done something right. That third time, it was VMP who came knocking. As they're the producers of Armageddon, Virus, Clockstoppers, Adventure Inc., The Coven, The Punisher, Æon Flux, Room Service, Welcome to the Jungle, The Incredible Hulk, Punisher: War Zone, I thought for certain this was the right fit. The right production company for Ruin Mist.

But it wasn't to be.... A lot of years passed and thoughts of breaking into Hollywood faded away. In 2008, I finished Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ruin Mist and Keeper Martin's Guide to the Fantastical Beasts and Fairie Creatures of Ruin Mist. Both books were BIG hits with fans and as it turns out with MGM, who came knocking, as did Artciculus Entertainment.

MGM was the one I'd've liked to see make the movies. They could have done it right and ensured a 4-movie run, which was what I was hoping for. It's the complete story that I want to tell in film and it's only through the course of all four books that the story behind the story is fully told. That being the story of the tragic romance of Ansh Brodst, a man at arms, and Delinna Alder, a princess of the realms.

In 2010, I finished the Ruin Mist comics and a prequel, Dawn of the Ages. The Ruin Mist graphic novel was published in late 2011. And it's these stories that bring a new movie production company to my door. Will the 6th time be the charm? Stay tuned... I'll let you know when I know.








More About William Robert Stanek's Books


William Robert Stanek and his son.William Robert Stanek's books have been written about and recommended by the YA librarian staff at VOYA, Publisher's Weekly, Parenting Magazine, the Journal of Electronic Defense, The Children's Bookshelf, Children's Writer, Popular Series Fiction for Middle School and Teen Readers: A Reading and Selection Guide, and other fine publications and periodicals. Over 20 million people have read his work, with translations and editions available in 150 countries worldwide.

His 250th book was published in 2020. In his long, distinguished career, his books have been distributed and published by Simon & Schuster, Random House, Macmillan, Pearson, Microsoft, O'Reilly, and others. He was also a columnist for PC Magazine and Dr. Dobbs. After high school, he joined the military to see the world and has lived in Asia, Europe, the Pacific, and many parts of the United States. He served two combat tours in the Gulf War as a combat flyer. Learn more at www.williamstanek.com, www.ruinmistmovie.com, and www.bugvillecritters.com. Find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WilliamStanekAuthor.William Robert Stanek with his daughter

From his earliest days as a writer to the present, William Robert Stanek has been lending a helping hand to other writers. Over the years, he's helped many, many writers get their books and professional papers published. In 2007, he founded Go Indie, an organization dedicated to promoting independent publishers, authors, and booksellers, and over the past few years Go Indie has helped hundreds of indie authors. In March 2012, he launched Summer of Indie and dozens of indies joined the kickoff party that April. Beginning in June and continuing throughout the summer, Summer of Indie featured indie authors and their books. Nearly 100 indie authors were featured in all, along with their many, many books. Learn more at readindies.blogspot.com.

Like the little engine that could, his books are the little books that could. Year after year his books have had steadily increasing readership. Interest from movie production companies has come and gone. New editions and new books have been introduced. A graphic novel and comics were released. He works now and again on a script that may some day be the first Ruin Mist movie (or it may not). "Who knows for sure what the future may bring," he says.

William Robert Stanek surfs up!He thought 2002 was a banner year when print sales soared beyond his wildest expectations and he was living with a smile on his face. He thought that year would never be topped, never be achieved again. Until he brought Ruin Mist to audio in 2005 and the books catapulted to #1 on Audible for FOURTEEN consecutive weeks and then stayed on the Kids & YA Top 10 for the next THREE YEARS.

When that massive run ended, he thought, "Oh man, this is the end of the ride, but what a ride it's been." Then sales rocketed again and he had his best few years ever as a writer. "That was nirvana. That was magical."

By 2011 he thought for sure the ride was over. That this was it for Ruin Mist, but it wasn't so for the 12 months from October 2011 to September 2012 brought more new readers to the world of Ruin Mist than any other 12-month period. Ever. "Who knew books published so many years ago could still have best years ahead of them," he says. "The point being, you never know. That first or next book you write may be the one. Then again it might not, but you never know until you put yourself out there."

William Robert Stanek and his family.About writing, William Robert Stanek says, "You know you're in the right place in life when you wake up every day with a smile on your face. You know you're in the right place as a writer when that smile is because you're eager to get to the keyboard, eager to get the thoughts racing through your mind down on paper."

"That eagerness to capture thoughts on paper has carried me through many days, many years, and many books. As a writer, that eagerness has made the blank page a friend rather than a foe. That blank page can be your friend too--if you let it. And if you let it, you can fill it with everything that's inside you, everything that you can wonder about, everything that you can dream about, and everything that you can imagine."

What Others Say About William? 

William Robert Stanek's wife and kids.William Robert Stanek was like a father to some of us in the writing community, a favorite uncle to others, and a valued mentor to a great, great many. So many writers, hundreds really, owe their start in writing and careers to this guy, and the same is true of thousands who work in Big Tech, on web-based platforms or in web-based businesses. This guy taught them all how to set up those very businesses. This guy who was larger than life. This guy who was so down to earth. This guy who was so humble. This guy who so loved life. This guy who so loved family. This guy who took care of everyone else. This guy who gave and gave and gave over so many decades to so many and never asked for anything in return.

Stanek family fun times.William was always creating resources to help writers. Writer’s Galley, Internet Job Center, Internet Daily News, others, his earliest efforts in the mid ‘90s. Go Indie, Read Indies, Free Today, and others in the mid ‘00s. He taught us all how to use social media, to create blogs, to use Facebook, to use Twitter and beyond. He created and curated memes like #amwriting, #amblogging, #epicfantasy, #kidslit and #teenlit. He led by example.

By 2000, his professionally published books numbered over 100. Those books, published and distributed by the biggest names in publishing—IDG, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Macmillan, Pearson, Microsoft, McGraw Hill, Time Warner—blazed trails. At a time when few understood the world wide web and its technologies, William was not only one of the few recognized world leaders in the web and its technologies, he was the recognized world leader in explaining how those technologies worked clearly and concisely.

William Robert Stanek with Son, DaughtersWilliam was a King maker, unmade by the very things he helped establish. He put upstart Amazon on the map by writing about the company to his audience of millions from its earliest days. He transformed Microsoft Press from a publishing company its readers swore published books in a foreign language called Microsoftese into one praised for publishing books in plain language—that plain language approach William himself created and that praise itself was for William’s books. His words and style were so beloved they eventually became the plain language style of Microsoft itself.

Credit where credit is due one might imagine, but instead as William revealed through his varied writings and blogs, he got no credit for any of it. At the end of the day, his work taught tens of millions, enriched the pockets of his publishers, agents and managers, but left William and his family with 3 cents on the dollar. William’s work was used in $1B-$2B (yes, B-I-L-L-I-O-N $) worth of training courses and other Microsoft and non-Microsoft work for which he never received a single cent. Not one. None. Zero.

William Robert Stanek and his childrenIn 2000, William Stanek founded the modern indie author movement with his breakout self-published books that transformed publishing and the way we publish today. In 2001, William became the first indie author to serialize an e-book at Amazon and has since gone on to write more than 150 indie books. In 2002, his Keeper Martin's Tale and Kingdoms & the Elves books were the first indie e-authored books to top Amazon's bestseller lists. In 2005, the same books were the first indie e-audiobooks to top Audible bestseller lists where they dominated for the next three years (#1 fiction for 14 weeks 2005, 167 weeks Top 10 YA 2005-2008). His Kingdoms & the Elves became one of the top grossing e-audiobooks of all time and was featured on the Audible Home Page throughout the Summer of 2005.

We all know what happens to those who are so far ahead of their time that they seem to exist in a world of their own making. William had climbed too many mountains, and those standing at the bottoms of those mountains desperately wanted what he had, and so they did whatever it took to take what William had created and claim it as their own or destroy it. Read William’s heartbreaking posts about the things that happened to him and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. We as a society love to tear down our heroes. We tear them down with lies, with fake news. We puff ourselves up and make ourselves look big, to make those who are larger than life look small.

William Robert Stanek America's CupSad but true, strange but true, one of William Robert Stanek’s favorite sayings was dare to dream and he dared all of us to dream. Not only to dream with him as he conquered the bestseller lists, which he did time after time until he had so many number ones it seemed a thing unreachable in the sky, but to dream our own dream, forge our own paths and to make of our writing and lives whatever beautiful dream we could dream. Robert told me many times that the empty page was friend, not foe, that he never knew a day of writer’s block. He saw the empty page as a challenge, one that he was not afraid to answer, and answer it he did. In his lifetime, over 20 million of his words were published in over 250 books. I know from speaking with Robert that he has half as many words unpublished, words that we all should hope are someday published. William had much to say to the world, and his books indeed say much.

William challenged us as writers to see the blank page as a friend as well. He dreamed that his books would be his legacy, and indeed his hundreds of books are a legacy for the world to share and treasure. To those reading our words, if you want to do one decent thing today, one decent thing this week, read William Robert Stanek’s books and tell the world about them.

-Courtesy of the Writing Team at Read Indies, Cathy, Emily, David, Mary, Shannon, Sandra

Did You Know? A Memorable Meeting

As a successful and notable writer, photographer, and artist, William Robert Stanek has met CEOs, presidents, and royals. Among these encounters, a meeting with Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush in the early 1990s stands out most vividly in his memory. At the time, both were trustees of the National Awards program at the Freedoms Foundation, and William had recently received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his wartime service to the USA and the George Washington Honor Medal from the foundation.

“It was an honor,” William says, reflecting on the moment when Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush shook his hand and sincerely congratulated him on his achievements. For most people, such a significant acknowledgment from two former presidents would be a pinnacle moment. However, for William, these moments marked a beginning rather than an end. In his view, he had not yet achieved anything noteworthy, despite the accolades.

This meeting with Reagan and Bush ignited a determination in William to truly make his mark on the world. He saw these acknowledgments not as the culmination of his efforts, but as motivation to strive for greater achievements. Over the next few decades, William would go on to establish himself as a formidable presence in the worlds of writing, photography, and art.

William’s journey began long before that memorable meeting. Raised in Seattle, he faced significant adversity from a young age. After losing his stepfather and sister to a tragic accident, William and his siblings were raised by a single mother, often living in poverty and going hungry. From the age of 10, William worked odd jobs to help support his family.

At 17, during his senior year of high school, William found himself homeless and living in his car. Despite these challenges, he managed to finish high school and joined the US Air Force, where he served with distinction. His military career included combat and special operations duties around the world, earning him numerous medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After his military service, William embarked on a new journey, driven by the determination to make a lasting impact. His multifaceted career has included writing nonfiction under his own name and fiction under the pseudonym Robert Stanek. His literary works span numerous genres, including nearly 100 children's picture books painted with his beautiful watercolors.

In the world of photography, William is celebrated for his stunning landscapes and innovative photo series, such as "Snapshot in Time," "Perspective," and "Elevate." His wife, Hui Cha Stanek, has been an integral part of this journey, providing unwavering support and contributing to the planning and execution of their creative projects.

Hui Cha's role in their creative partnership is essential. Together, they have traveled the world, capturing breathtaking images and creating works of art that resonate with people globally. Their collaborative efforts have made them beloved figures in the arts and literary communities. Known as “living legends” and “national treasures,” they have enriched the arts and publishing world with their unique perspectives and dedication.

William's work has not only brought him personal success but has also generated over $300 million for others, with multiple 8-figure successes. His contributions have set a benchmark in the industry, inspiring countless other artists and photographers to follow in his footsteps. Despite his achievements, William remains humble and focused on his craft. He continues to push the boundaries of his art, exploring new techniques and themes. His dedication to quality and innovation ensures that his work remains relevant and impactful.

William Robert Stanek’s journey from a young boy facing adversity to a celebrated artist and author is a testament to his resilience and determination. His encounter with Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush may have been a significant moment in his life, but it was merely the starting point of a remarkable career.

With his wife, Hui Cha Stanek, by his side, William continues to create art that inspires and captivates audiences around the world. Their work together has not only enriched their own lives but also the lives of those who experience their creations. As they continue to explore new creative horizons, their legacy in the world of art and literature will undoubtedly continue to grow, inspiring future generations to see the world through their unique lens.

William’s story reminds us that true success is not just about receiving accolades but about the continuous pursuit of one’s passions and the desire to make a meaningful impact on the world.

William Stanek Talks About the Distinguished Flying Cross and His Military Service

William Stanek’s journey from a decorated military serviceman to a celebrated artist and author is marked by dedication, resilience, and a profound sense of duty. His military career, which spanned over a decade, saw him earn numerous accolades, including the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross.

When William decided to leave the military in the 1990s, he was one of the most highly decorated members of his unit. His distinguished service had brought him to fields of combat and special operations in various parts of the world. He was recognized not only for his bravery but also for his exceptional skill and dedication.

The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. For William, this medal is a symbol of his contributions and sacrifices. However, the memories associated with his service are bittersweet. "I would give all the medals away to be able to close my eyes and not see any of it," he admits, reflecting on the traumatic experiences he endured.

For William, his work in photography, painting, and writing has been a vital outlet for healing. "My work has always been an outlet, if not for my own healing, then to help heal others," he explains. Through his stories, paintings, and photographs, William channels his experiences into creative expressions that resonate with many. His wife, Hui Cha Stanek, has been his steadfast partner throughout this journey. Together, they have created a legacy that spans multiple artistic disciplines, providing solace and inspiration to countless individuals.

William’s work in the military was often top secret. He frequently collaborated with the NSA and other departments, as well as with the Army, Marines, and Navy. His involvement in special operations meant that many of his missions were classified, and the true extent of his contributions remains known only to a select few.

"Of my awards and accolades, a piece of paper accompanying an award often doesn’t even tell part of the story," William says. "Sometimes you get an award or accolade for one thing, because it’s the one thing that can be talked about. Other times, you get a handshake from a president, general, or such on behalf of a grateful nation."

Throughout his military career, William had the honor of meeting multiple presidents and generals. These interactions were often brief but meaningful, serving as a testament to his service and dedication. Despite the recognition, William rarely talks about his military service, preferring to let his record speak for itself.

One story from his military days that William does share is how he met his wife, Hui Cha. On his way to survival training at Fairchild AFB in Eastern Washington, William decided to stop at McChord AFB for some R&R. His first night back in the U.S. after years away found him tired but hungry. He went to Denny’s and then, drawn by the neon sign of a bar, he decided to stop in for a cold beer.

It was a slow night, and William struck up a conversation with the bartender, who happened to be Hui Cha’s sister. She told him about her sister and thought they would be a perfect match. Despite initial skepticism, William agreed to wait. After some back and forth, and a few more calls from the bartender, Hui Cha finally came in.

Wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt, with no makeup besides red lipstick and mascara, Hui Cha walked in and there was instant chemistry. They hit it off quickly, talked for hours, and set a date for the following day. William ended up seeing Hui Cha every day he was on R&R at McChord. When he left, they promised to visit each other on weekends whenever possible.

During his weeks at survival training, Hui Cha drove out to Fairchild AFB twice, and he drove back to the west coast once. After training, he spent another week of R&R at McChord on his way to Air Combat School, during which he convinced her to join him for the six months of ACS. Two months later, they married and have been together for 35 years.
William Robert Stanek with daughters.
William Robert Stanek with his wife.
Willam Robert Stanek and his daughter
Halloween Bumble Bee Girl and Doctor Sassy

William Robert Stanek's wife and daughter

William Robert Stanek's wife and daughter



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