• Published
  • By Elsa Martinez
  • 433 AW
[HEADLINE IDEA: After 31 years she's only getting warmed up]

From active-duty Air Force to Air Reserve Technician to federal service--Judy Vogel spent her 31 career years well-lived in public service, most of it with the Alamo Wing. As outgoing civilian personnel liaison for the wing, Ms. Vogel reflected on those three-plus decades and summed it up.

"I've done it all," she said. "I've always wanted to help people, and I think I have."

That service time brought Ms. Vogel up close and personal with a variety of changes here at the Alamo Wing.

"There were so many, but the biggest had to be the conversion from the C-130 to the C-5," Ms. Vogel mused.

"I saw the maintenance hangar go up," Ms. Vogel said.

Prior to that time, the parking ramp was what is now parking space for Buildings 909 and 910.

"I can still remember when Retired Chief Master Sgt. Louis Scherlen came into my office with the blueprints."

Former Command Chief Master Sgt. John Shroyer said he remembers Ms. Vogel during her career here.

"I remember first meeting Judy at the 433rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. She eventually retired from the Reserve at AES, and that's where I really remember her."

The maintenance hangar was just the start of the wing's evolution into the current C-5 Galaxy mission. Indeed, Ms. Vogel's career was as vast as the C-5 hangar she observed from her office on the ramp. Her active-duty career began in October 1966 and ended Feb 1969,

She joined the Air Force Reserve in 1975 after a break to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons, David and Ken.

The Reserve then took her to the 81st Maintenance Squadron at McClellan AFT, California, and the 85th Supply Squadron at Torrejon Air Base, Spain. She then worked at the then-433d Tactical Airlift Wing at Kelly AFB before going to the Headquarters Company Garrison at Fort Sam Houston as a federal worker.

She returned to the 433d TAW in Dec 1982 before moving to Kelly's Air Logistics Center, first as an energy data clerk and then as a metal-tube maker helper. She returned to the 433rd TAW's Organizational Maintenance Squadron (now 433d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron).

From 433rd OMS Ms. Vogel moved to the Logistics Support Squadron as a logistics plans specialist. She would finally come to the wing's Mission Support Squadron in 1992, where she remained in a number of positions until she became civilian personnel liaison in 1993 to the present date.

"The wing has grown so much during all that time," Ms. Vogel remarked , "but that meant I met that many more people."

But meeting more people meant cultivating "diamonds in the rough:" other wing folks who she helped get ahead and who rose through the ranks with her help and advice.

Chief Master Sgt. Maria Reyes was a prime example, as Ms. Vogel recalled. But the now-senior ART for the 433d Medical Group remembers her even better.

"I was working in 433d OMS (now AMXS) in 1986 as a federal civilian," she said. "We were in big white trailers on the parking ramp. This was just before the C-5 conversion."

"I was a federal worker back then and very young," Chief Reyes recalled . "I remember coming to work on Mondays, trying to tell Judy about my weekend. But she would nod, smile, and then give me work to do. She was always about meeting the mission and getting the job done."

Ms. Vogel then approached the Chief-to-be with another career idea.

"One day she approached me about the ART program, and she encouraged me to join the Reserve. She was so persuasive that I did."

But Air Force Basic Military Training had changed somewhat since Ms. Vogel's time, something she had neglected to tell Chief Reyes.

"I didn't know I'd have to go through the obstacle course (now the Confidence Course) and small-arms training--something Judy never had to go through. But I did."

In retrospect, the challenges of BMT were just the start.

"As I made my way up the enlisted ranks, I owed Judy so much. She mentored me, she inspired me, and she shared her knowledge and enthusiasm and encouraged me in my career both as an ART and as a federal worker."

Although retirement is a major step in anyone's life, Ms. Vogel isn't entirely without plans. "I do plan to travel. That's one thing I've always wanted more time for," she said, "something I want to do on one of our C-5s!"

Being retired Air Force Reserve, she's now eligible to travel on space-availability. She also plans to increase her volunteer work for the Salvation Army, the Red Hat Society, the Harlequin Dinner Theater and VFW Post 6012.

Ms. Vogel also plans to volunteer at Wilford Hall Medical Center. "It's something I've not done but something I've been interested in."

Ms. Vogel confesses to being uncertain about her retirement life, which began officially February third.

"All my life I've always been helping people," she said. "Now I'll continue doing so, but I'll do what I want to do.

"As my son Kenny told me, 'Mom, it's time to enjoy your 'bonus years!'"