My name is Joe. I was born and raised in North Central West Virginia, a small town called Nutter Fort. Very small town but a very good and safe town.
I graduated from Roosevelt-Wilson High School in 1981. Immediately after graduation, I enlisted in the USAF. This little adventure will prove to be my best years.
Out of high school and anting to see the world. The USAF showed my Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX. Basic Military Training. I’ve seen all the world I cared to about that time. We had to fill out a ‘dream sheet’. This is where you would like to be stationed. Naturally, I picked every base closest to the Mountain State as I could have. I went to Germany.
Spent two years at Ramstein AB, Germany, where I received and launched various USAF and NATO aircraft. In January of 1984, I changed stations to Myrtle Beach AFB, SC. There too, I recovered and launched various military and civilian aircraft. Myrtle Beach was a good assignment. In 1986, I applied to be retrained into becoming a Flight Engineer on the C-141B Starlifter. The Starlifter was a strategic airlifter/air dropper transport, multi-engine…….A great aircraft that carried me all over this planet for the better part of five years. A great period indeed.
I flew missions in support of Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama. Fun. Fun Fun. I flew many missions during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
On February 2, 1992, I suffered a total lapse in judgment and decided that no longer liked the air force and I separated. Took more then just that day, but it was very quick. That day, for me, will live in infamy.
So, now I’m jobless, homeless, 2700 miles west of Nutter Fort, West ‘by God’ Virginia, leaning on my truck, my packed truck, watching the moving companies big truck depart. I was 28 years dumb.
My truck loaded, I jumped in and drove east. Made a short stay in Amarillo, TX, drove to Memphis, TN, short stay, then home.
Ah, those rolling hills of West Virginia has indeed called me home. I was here, now what? Get employed was the first on the list. Luckily, I landed a job at the counties, 911 center, where I will work for the better part of eighteen years, 9/1992 – 9/2010.
Working in emergency management was an experience, not as good as the USAF, … Let’s just leave it there for now.
I am now disabled as a result of a gun and other health issues.