Daugherty excited to make transition from Air Force to art gallery


With apologies to Grant Wood, Roy and Mary Daugherty strike an “American Gothic” pose in front of their new gallery, Chameleon Soul in Melbourne.

SENIOR LIFE Courtesy of Chameleon Soul Gallery


When Roy C. Daugherty III retires from the Air Force in a few months, he will sharpen the right side of the brain at Chameleon Soul, the newest gallery in downtown Melbourne.

Daugherty and his wife, Mary, opened the eclectic upcycled art gallery in August. It’s a new career for this Texas boy from El Paso. Operating an art gallery in Brevard is a long jump for Daugherty, who grew up in the Lone Star State with thoughts of the Air Force always in his mind.

“I joined the Air Force under the delayed entry program in November of 1979, making my commitment to the Air Force even before my official graduation from high school,” said the 55-year-old Daugherty.

His military career launched at home in Texas, at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, to be exact. He entered basic training as an aircrew life support technician. Tech school in Chanute, Ill. followed.

He moved to his first active duty base in September 1980, joining the 301st Wild Hare Fighter Squadron at Florida’s Homestead Air Force Base. That’s where he maintained active duty status until September 1983 when he then transitioned into the Air Force Reserve Technician Program (ART) with the same duty title.

The ART Program offers individuals such as Daugherty the unique opportunity to serve both as a civilian and as a reservist. While at Homestead, Daugherty maintained F-4 aircrew flight gear and aircraft equipment for the 93rd Mako Squadron, which later transitioned to flying F-16s.

Everything was going well until August 1992, when the perfect storm named Hurricane Andrew arrived
in town.

“Due to the devastation, the base was closed and my team served primarily at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

Daugherty would return to Homestead in 1993, but the base was no longer an active duty station. It only hosted Air Force Reserve service members. While at Homestead, he received the rank of staff sergeant and participated in several training missions throughout the United States.

He connected with the Space Coast in 1996, when he was assigned to Patrick Air Force Base and where he will be based until his retirement next July. Now a Master Sergeant and Aircrew Flight Equipment Craftsman, Daugherty serves with the 920th Operational Support Squadron and its HH-60 helicopters and HC-130 aircraft, used for combat and civilian rescue.

During his time at Patrick, he has participated in training throughout the United States and has been deployed to Kuwait, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently Djibouti, Africa. Running an art gallery will seem tame.

The military will always hold a special place in Daugherty’s heart.

“Joining the Air Force changed my whole life and provided me with opportunities that I would not have had otherwise,” he said.

“I love what I do each and every day, knowing that I am part of a success team of skilled and dedicated airman who serve so that others
may live.”

Say hello to Roy and Mary Daugherty at their new gallery, Chameleon Soul at 822 Palmetto Ave. in Melbourne. Roy and Mary’s gallery features upcycled, repurposed furnishings and art classes. For information, call 321-831-3399 or go to chameleonsoulgallery.com. 

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