Veteran | 22 years in the U.S. Air Force & Army
What can we celebrate this nominee for?
Submitted by Lynne Wilson
Edgar Wilson, my dad, served 22 years in the U.S. military with 20 in the Air Force and 2 years in the Army. He retired honorably as a Technical Sergeant. My dad grew up on the mean streets of the lower east side of Chicago in the 40’s and 50’s. For an African-American man, there were not going to be a lot of legitimate options for him to succeed.
He says he saw many of the people in his community end up dead, drug addicts, or in jail. Most before they were even adults. He started reading comic books and science fiction very young to escape the realities of poverty, violence, and crime that surrounded him. Books helped him visualize exotic lands far away, and this planted the seeds of his dreams about seeing the world for himself. Fortunately for me and my family, Edgar chose a different destiny because of his zest for exploration.
Joining the Air force at 17 was the start of his great adventure. He says he was happy to see the world and through the good and bad, it satisfied his curiosity. This included doing a year fighting in the Vietnam War. Surprisingly, he said it didn’t bother him.
He said every place he visited had something unique or interesting to offer. His favorite places he visited were in the Far East. He has affectionate memories of his time in Japan & the Philippines. He also visited a few countries in Europe, and even did a one year stint near the North pole at Hopedale Air Station where the average temperature was -7 degrees Celsius!