There is no greater honor then the service of ones country. It is a tradition in our family to serve. My father served in WWII. My older brother served in the Navy. I had always wanted to serve in the Air Force. One reason is that I've always loved flying. Started out as a 70251B at Wright Patterson AFB, ASD. Retested on the ASVAB, scored a 96 then was offered any job I wanted. I chose aircraft maintenance and was accepted to Tactical Aircraft & Bombardment School at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX in 1983.
I have very fond memories of both Wright Patterson AFB and MacDill AFB. One particular memory that stands out is being promoted to Sergeant. One of the medals I received was the Good Conduct Medal because it speaks to my character and those of my generation raised by the WWII generation. There is very little of this anymore. Several people had an impact on me while serving. One of them was my supervisor Master Sergeant Perryman and my friend William (or Bill) Macintosh and a Loadmaster whom I got to know while stationed in Area B, ASD Wright Patterson AFB 1979-1983. Wish I knew if my friend Bill was still alive and would like to reconnect with him.
Recounting a particular experience serving that I found funny later on was while stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL as an F16 Crew Chief I was launching my F16 on what seemed a normal day, but when I signaled to the pilot to turn and continue to taxi out of the parking spot I forgot that I left the maintenance log book open on top of the tool chest which was sitting next to the aircraft. When the aircraft turned to taxi out the jet blast blew the papers everywhere. The supervisor in the crew truck laughed for days.
After my honorable discharge from service I attended Airframe and Power plant school but wasn't able to finish due to cost so I attended another school and decided to make a long career in IT (Information Technology). My service to country has influenced how I live my life. The discipline, focus, determination and teamwork I learned while serving in the military has helped me achieve many accomplishments throughout my not so fun private sector career. It helped me be a more responsible adult and really came in handy when I had to raise my three children after my first wife died while she was only 26 years old. Advise I would give any young person wanting to serve today. Stay in the service, don't leave no matter what, milk that opportunity for all it's worth, never turn down any kind of training, get as many medals, ribbons and achievements as you can and get that pension.
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