Captain David L. Eastman was born in 1943 in Washington, DC. He entered the University of New Hampshire in 1961 and participated for four years in the Army ROTC program. At UNH, he was social chairman of Phi Kappa Theta, a member of the UNH track team, and head sports manager. Dave graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1965 with a BS in Forest Management. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army.
David Eastman attended the Infantry Officer Basic Course and the Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA. Subsequently, he received training for 32 weeks at the Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Fort Wolters, TX, and Fort Rucker, AL. He was awarded Army Aviator Wings in September 1966, as well as his Parachutist Badge. Dave Eastman was assigned to the 175th Aviation Company (AML), Vinh Long, Vietnam, and served a tour of duty in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam from 1966-1967. He served there as an Airmobile Commander of UH-1D Iroquois (Huey) transport helicopters. His duties included troop lifts, medical evacuation, command and control, aerial resupply, flare drops, flying gunships and VIP flights. He served as a section leader and operations officer in his platoon. He flew 1300 combat hours as a UH-1D helicopter pilot. He flew both transport choppers that carried mostly Vietnam soldiers into battle and gunships during a year of heavy fighting in a particularly deadly part of Vietnam. For his outstanding efforts in the Vietnam War, he was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, 34 Air Medals (including “V” Device), and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with a Gold Star. Following his tour in Vietnam, he served as a US Army Flight Instructor in the primary phase at Fort Wolters, TX. Dave was promoted to the rank of captain in February of 1968, and he was transferred to the Army Reserve when leaving active duty.
Captain David L. Eastman wrote a book call Outlaws in Vietnam. In it, he provided a first-hand account of a tour with the Outlaws of the 175th Aviation Company in the Mekong Delta. As an author, Dave Eastman described the life of a helicopter pilot in combat, not only the flying and fighting, but also the sociology of chopper pilots and crew. His book revealed an exciting story of camaraderie, competence, and fellowship.
Returning to civilian life, Dave worked several jobs in the State of Washington from 1972-1981. He also studied at the University of Washington and earned a Masters Degree in Forest Science. Dave Eastman returned to the East Coast to teach at UNH as adjunct faculty. He was the professor for INER 635, Contemporary Conservation Issues.
After two years of development and research work for Post & Beam Magazine, David became the Owner of Country Ecology in 1985. In that capacity, He wrote magazine articles on bluebirds and cavity dwellers, wildlife forage shrubs, and advertised, in Birder’s World, Wild Bird, Bluebird, and Bird Watcher’s Digest. He gave lectures and presented workshops at AMC, Loon Preservation Committee, Audubon Society of NH, Stonedam Island, Conservation Districts, and various schools and non-profits. His radio show “Country Ecology” is broadcast four times weekly on WMWV-fm and sponsored by M&M Assurance. Dave’s weekly column of the same name is featured in The Conway Daily Sun newspaper. He manufactured Country Ecology Natural Log-Front Birdhouses; 11,000 nest boxes were sold nationally.
Dave Eastman served as Secretary of the NH Lakes Association for 8 years and was its representative on Governor’s Lakes Management Advisory Committee. He was also the Natural Areas Caretaker for UNH of Rattlesnake Mountain and Five Finger Point on Squam Lake for over 20 years. He served on the North American Bluebird Society Board of Directors, 1997-2000. He also served as Vice President of Lakes Region Chapter, ASNH.