by Earle W.
My 20-year Air Force career as a jet engine mechanic ended in 1986, and I was entering the civilian job market. I was the sole breadwinner for a family of four with no job, no prospects and limited income. It was a scary time for our family.
The closer my military retirement date came, the more anxious I became. One Friday night, my wife showed me an ad in the newspaper about Lockheed Support Systems, Inc. holding interviews for jet engine mechanics in Palmdale, California, the next morning. It sounded promising, so I drove over.
I got there, filled out the appropriate paperwork, talked to the interviewer and was hired on the spot. I worked for LSSI for only 11 months at Edwards Air Force Base, but it was my foot-in-the-door introduction to the civilian side of the aerospace industry. That first job led to my 25-year career that ended recently in December 2011.