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Jarboe, Walter (1976-1977)

Posted:  6/17/2010 8:20:38 AM

No pictures yet.



Hometown:  Tifton, GA

Unit at Loring:  42nd FMS/Corrosion Shop

First day at Loring:

Drove up from Texas via Illinois.  I arrived in mid March, after having spent the winter in Texas (Lackland then Sheppard.)  I had seen almost no snow that winter, and drove up in the dark and in very dense fog.  The drive from Bangor on was interminable.  Reflectorized paint was all I could see, one spot on the center line at a time.  I had to get to the base, so I drove 60-70 MPH the entire way, white knuckles driving.  I arrived at the base exhausted, in the wee hours of the morning, and was put up for the night in the FMS barracks.  I did not even realize there was six feet of snow on the ground until the next day.  I grew up on a farm in central Illinois, so I was accustomed to dealing with snow in the winter, but had never seen anything like that.  I remember little about in processing, possibly because I was so tired from the night before.  I remember meeting my shop chief, Bobbie Rowe, and taking a tour of the corrosion control shop, which was in the arch hanger, then he took me on a tour of a KC-135 which was there for inspection.  I met my immediate superior, Tim Brookings, and the FMS coco chief, TSG Hildebrandt.

Most memorable experience:  

A friend of mine from the coco shop, Al Mowers, had bought a new bass boat in the spring of 77, and trailered it up from Pennsylvania to the base.  On Memorial Day weekend, we decided we would take it up to Moosehead Lake for a fishing trip.  We arrived there on a beautiful sunny spring day, boat trailer in tow, and when we saw the lake, it was covered with ice fishing shacks and snowmobiles.  We got a lot of funny looks as we towed the boat around the frozen lake.  We asked around, and found that the lake never iced out in May.  We felt a little foolish, but got a lot of laughs out of it.

Last Day at Loring:  

I went Palace Chase, that is, I applied for transfer to the Illinois Air National Guard.  I was tired of Loring, not so much because I hated it, but because everyone around me hated it, and that wears on you after a while.  Being a farm boy, I found the isolated, rural nature of the area kind of pleasant, but most of the young, single guys in the FMS barracks felt like they were cut off from civilization, and spoke often of how much they hated it.  The corrosion shop was overmanned, so they let me go.  I out processed, and as I left the west gate for the last time, it really hit me that I was not coming back.  I was leaving some good friends behind, and I knew I would miss them.  I stopped, got out of the car, and snapped a photo of the gate.  It is not a special photo, but it was a very emotional moment for me.  I got in my car, and never went back.

What have you done since Loring:

I worked in a few factory jobs, then went back to school.  Got my Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Illinois, and have been working for Heatcraft, a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment, ever since.  I got married in 1981 to an Air Force brat from Rantoul, Illinois, and have four kids.  I lived in Danville, Illinois for about 14 years, and I now live in south Georgia, where my employer moved in 2008.
If you agree, people can contact you at (email):  walter.jarboe@heatcraftrpd.com