Originally Published: November 10, 2015 8:38 p.m.
City of Residence: Prescott Valley
Branch of Service: U.S. Air Force
In 1970, I graduated from high school in a small town in Vermont. At that time Vietnam was the hot topic and the draft was in place. I wanted to serve my country, asking my uncle who was in the Navy to see if I could enlist. When I examined, the physician told me that I needed to see a neurologist, which led to a diagnosis of Neurofibromatosis (NF), a disorder that causes tumors to grow. This made me unfit for service and rendered me a 1F deferment.
Determined to enlist, I contacted a caring Air Force recruiter, telling him of my story and that I would "shut-up" to my disorder. He sent me to a new recruitment center in Albany, New York, making sure to stand in the back of the line. "SCORE." I passed and was reclassified 1A able to join the Air Force. After basic training in Texas and tech school in Colorado, I was sent to Homestead, Florida, and to my last assignment at Eielson AFB, Alaska.
When there, I was able to meet Ms. France. Her brother was also in the U.S. Air Force and she wanted to see the planes that we maintained. After my four years were up, I used my GI bill and received my BA degree from the University of Alaska entered a graduate program.
I was hired as a federal employee, moving over eight times for promotions. I finally retired as a federal employee as a division chief for logistics at the Aberdeen Test Center, Maryland. This was all because of my enlistment in the USAF and the chance this recruiter made on my behalf, who I will always be grateful for. What a journey I had, living in Germany, visiting Korea and traveling the world. As my license plate on my truck states "AIMHGH" - the Air Force Motto.