We are so thankful for the men and women who have served our country and defended our freedom!
In the leadup to Veterans Day, we asked veterans across Sagora communities to share their experiences with us, including the lessons they learned and their favorite memories from their time in the US Armed Forces. We’re so thankful for those who shared their experiences with us and we’re thrilled to share their stories. Here are the stories from veterans at Landon Ridge Alamo Ranch Assisted Living & Memory Care in San Antonio, Texas.
Eugene M. served in the Air Force, doing six years of active duty and 30 years in civilian work. He specialized in working on Aircraft Electronics, which led him to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. His length of service led to recognition from the commander and mayor, something that he says he is very proud of.
Donald B. served in the Air Force from 1971-1991, working as an RN. He says that he and his wife enjoyed the social life afforded to him by the Air Force. The biggest thing that he learned, he says, was organization.
Larry C. served in the Army and the Army Reserves from 1957-1987. His time in the Army taught him “how to work with fellow servicemembers and accomplish tasks,” he says. His favorite memories were watching units complete their missions and return home.
Anna “Trudy” B. was a nurse in the Air Force, serving from 1960-1979. Her career was filled with many memorable moments, as she saw countries like Turkey, Israel, Portugal and Spain and even flew on Air Force One while stationed in Germany. In 1963, she served as a medical backup at the White House during the funeral of John F. Kennedy.
Jose G. served in the Army from 1950-1956, attaining the rank of Sergeant. He served as an electrician and worked with various branches of the US Armed Forces. He enjoyed traveling and learned to work with others and adapt to different situations.
William O. served in the Air Force from 1958-1962, working as a weapons technician and achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant He says the Air Force set the foundation for a lifetime of new responsibility and gave him new direction. That new direction led him to New York, where he served in the New York Fire Department for 28 years.
James B. served in the National Guard and Air Force Reserves from 1966-1972, working as a military policeman and paralegal. He spent time in Korea and Japan, where he was named the Employee of the Month in 1967. He says he enjoyed learning about the cultures of South Korea and Japan in addition to spending time in Tokyo. “I became more patriotic and very appreciative of military personal and part-time personnel.”
John D. served in the Army and Air Force from 1959-1983, working as a welder and eventually taking charge of scheduling maintenance. He received a good conduct medal three times. The lessons that he learned in the military helped him become a director in a school district, where he worked for two decades.
Lee W. served in the Navy from 1948-1978, working in Medical Services. During his time in the Navy, he received several awards and learned how to accomplish his goals. “My discipline raised my integrity,” he says.
Van C. did three years of active-duty service in the US Army from 1968-1971, before embarking on a 20-year career in the Army reserves. He trained in several countries, including Korea, and took part in mock war exercises. While at Fort Hood, he helped set up the base’s Wounded Warrior Program for reservists and members of the National Guard.
Willie M. served in the Army from 1954-1969, working as a communications specialist. He has fond memories of Germany, where he attended Oktoberfest in Munich. His time in the Army taught him responsibility and excellent communications skills, he says.
Karl D. served in the Air Force from 1949-1972, working as an aircraft mechanic. He spent time in California, Georgia, Japan, Korea, Arkansas and Louisiana during his time in the military. “It taught me discipline and responsibility,” he says. “The biggest lessons I learned were supervisory skills.”
Robert “Bob” P. served in the Army from 1969-1992, achieving the rank of Executive Director. He enjoyed his time in Germany, where he saw beautiful landscapes and met very friendly people. He says the biggest takeaways from his time in the Army were the skills that it taught him, including responsibility, effective communication and how to work as a team.
Charles R. had a storied career in the Army, serving from 1968-1970 and again from 1975-1993. He started as a Green Beret in Vietnam, working on classified operations. Following his service in Vietnam, he became a platoon leader and executive officer for the 82nd Airborne Division and an officer in the 9th Infantry Division. Later career highlights included a stint working at the Military Academy in West Point, New York, the Pacific Intelligence Center in Hawaii and the US Army War College in Pennsylvania. His time in Vietnam made a tremendous impact on him. “I learned a lot about human nature,” he says. “I saw the very best and the very worst in people. Fortunately, I think the best people outnumber the worst.”