By: Ray Judy, NASCSP Energy Services Director
October 5, 1981. This is a date that continues to be very important to me. That was the date I boarded a plane that would end with a bus ride to Lackland Air Force Base. The night would be a short one. A late arrival on base, standing in the rain to begin processing, then the assurance of a “full” night’s sleep. If memory serves me correctly the “full” night’s sleep began somewhere after midnight and ended with trash cans being thrown down between the rows of metal bunk beds at approximately 0500 hours. Welcome to the first day of Air Force basic training!
This process was the beginning of many realizations and transformations. It was the beginning of realizing the seriousness of the commitment I had made to serve this great country we call home – the United States of America. It brought forth the realization that things of great importance are always things bigger than yourself. It brought a new understanding of what it means to join with others in defense of a common goal or cause. It introduced me to a higher understanding of serving others – whatever the cost. It began the transformation into a deeper understanding of honor and duty.
My experience in the United States Air Force was a four-year enlistment. However, those four years were extremely instrumental in helping mold the person I would grow into. Those realizations and transformations are still a part of me to this day.
So, you might ask why is this blog post on the NASCSP website and what does it have to do with the Weatherization Assistance Program? Well, glad you asked! You see I am not the only Veteran working in the WAP. I am also not the only Veteran working in the WAP that brings these same realities and transformations to the work we do each day. Many of those Veterans working within the WAP are doing so because the commitment to serving something bigger than themselves as well as serving others is still a part of who they are – and what they bring to the WAP!
Not only are we honored to have Veterans working within the WAP, we also have the honor of serving those veterans who need our services. What an incredible blessing to have Veterans involved on both sides of the WAP.
I hope that today will be more than another Friday or another holiday. I hope you will set aside at least a little time to reflect upon the wonderful freedoms we enjoy in this country while pausing to remember how those freedoms were secured and how they are protected. Freedom isn’t free – it comes at a price. Let us remember and appreciate all Veterans who have served in the past, are serving now and have paid the ultimate cost. On behalf of the NASCSP Staff to all Veterans past and present – thank you!