I joined AF in Oct 1972 as a 1 and 2 engine jet aircraft crew chief, left active duty Oct 1980.
My first assignment I worked Transient Alert at Patrick AFB Florida form 1973 - 1974. It was the best assignment of my career. I met my wife there and we married in December 1973. In TA I had the fortune of taking care of the all the Apollo astronauts T-38's as the runway was not yet built at the cape. I met most of the old timers, all of them seemed down to earth.
I spent 1974 - 1977 as crew chief on a T-39 at Ramstein Germany. Another great assignment. I was the crew chief on the CINC-USAFE's plane for General Ellis. I also flew as part of the crew.
Next I was Dock Chief then training instructor on the F-4E at Seymour Johnson NC for three years.
I left active duty in 1980, moved to Hickory NC, pursuing a degree in engineering and started work at Corning in RD&E. I have been with them 35 years.
I asked a recruiter at Seymour Johnson about Air Guard or Reserves in the area I was moving and he said there was nothing.
I found out 10 yrs later there was a C130 unit in Charlotte NC (30 minutes from home). I went to Charlotte talked to the local recruiter and was in the guard three days later. I joined the NCANG as C130 crew chief 1990. Over the next 18 years I traveled to 54 countries and went on four deployments totaling 18 months.
I left the Air Guard as a MSgt May 2008. I than had four years in the reserves, retiring in September 2012.
I would not trade my time in the service for anything, I had one three year overseas tour and my short tours added up to another four years. It was a lot of time being away from family but hey have all survived.
R&D Engineer for Corning
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