Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Dream Took Flight

It all began with the P-38 Lightning
by Robert T.

I was born an Army brat, and when I was 13, my father was stationed in France. Much of the time, I was in my room building model airplanes. The first was a P-38. I wore glasses, so after high school I enlisted in the Air Force and repaired aircraft navigation equipment. I received my military discharge at March Air Force Base, California, which was close to Lockheed Aircraft. There, I hired on as an electrical installer on the L-1011 TriStar airliner in Palmdale, California. The beautiful airliner’s program was challenging, but I progressed to production supervisor.
I took advantage of the educational opportunities offered by Lockheed by getting my bachelor’s in science from the University of La Verne. I held positions at Burbank in industrial engineering and in cost analysis. I worked in ADP and on proposals. I transferred with the F-22 program to Marietta, Georgia, in producibility engineering. My most exciting assignment was at the Composites Development Center. I retired in 1999 as a senior engineer after 28 perfect years.
Lockheed Martin cared for its employees with great medical coverage, helping our family to grow. We also took full advantage of the investment program. My wife and I have a comfortable and enjoyable retirement that we share with our two daughters' families, including our nine grandchildren.
Looking back, my life has come full circle. One of my favorite things is going to the Reno Air Races, and, when one is there, watching a P-38 fly.