Otto Thomas Lawson, Jr. enlisted in the United States Navy in 1979, enlisting through the Sioux Falls Station, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs website. He served as an Aviation Structure Mechanic, primarily working on the EA-6B Prowler, a four-seat, mid-wing military aircraft.
The website says Lawson went on several deployments during his 20-year Navy career, reaching many shores and visiting many countries. The site says that, during his liberty hours, he volunteered his time to work with the locals. He was awarded the Humanitarian Award due to his constant efforts to volunteer in each country he visited.
Lawson retired from the Navy in 1999 at Naval Station Whidbey Island, in Washington. Lawson and his wife, Mary, now live in northwest Iowa. He is the son of Otto and Darlene Lawson of Sheldon.