Out of 16 million World War II veterans, only slightly more than 500,000 are alive today. Eric Trueblood, a 2006 UND graduate, is helping to tell their stories and preserve the memories of those lost.
Trueblood is co-owner of AirCorps Aviation, a company that specializes in the restoration, maintenance and rebuilding of World War II aircraft for clients worldwide.
“We are fortunate to have a wonderful team and to have found our niche working on some of the most historic aircraft in the world,” Trueblood said. “When an airplane flies away from our shop, it’s as if (it were) flying off an airbase in service during World War II.”
Trueblood earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of North Dakota. He says that while the academics were challenging and enjoyable, it was his extracurricular involvement that taught him the softer fundamentals of business. He learned skills such as team building, accountability and the importance of instilling ethics and values.
“I’ve had and continue to rely on wonderful mentors from UND,” Trueblood said. He credits his work with Student Government, Phi Delta Theta and his role in developing the Student Wellness Center as major events that shaped him.
I’ve had and continue to rely on wonderful mentors from UND.
“I had these people who kind of took me under their wing and invested their time. It wasn’t a curriculum that I was being tested on, but I think that they taught a lot of skills that are necessary outside of business operations,” Trueblood said.
He uses those same skills to serve communities and his state. Trueblood currently serves on the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation, Bush Foundation, the North Dakota Young Professionals board and the Varsity Bachelor’s Club. He also is a member of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.
He may have come to UND as “just a regular North Dakota kid,” but Trueblood has built a world-renowned business.
“I work daily with fascinating clients all over the world. And it has never seemed out of reach,” Trueblood said. “Thanks in part to my experiences at UND, I never felt that I wasn’t prepared.”
A version of this story first appeared in the UND Alumni Review.