stories 2015 | celebrate family connections
52 Lists Series | 13 places I want to go

meteorology story book | 3


Completing Weather Observing School in the dead of winter I headed to my first duty station - Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. I did not, however, continue training as an observer. Instead, I began working in an old hanger where the Enola Gay had been built - the airplane used to drop the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, training as a weather specialist (which is what we were called instead since we weren't observing) making maps used by meteorologists around the world.

The old hanger was home to many offices including Air Force Global Weather Central, which is where I happened to each day for my weather specialist job. It was a secure facility. I worked with a team of 60 people, mostly weather forecasters, some officers most NCO's, and as a new airman never imagined I'd ever become one myself. As one of the weather specialists, we were basically the map builders, the acetate  cleaners, the floor buffers, in other words, the errand airman, getting the short end of the stick all the time. The weather specialists fell for any of the weather forecasters who would take over buffing their section from the specialists on Sunday night shifts.

In no way shape or form did I ever like my job - except the people. I had an amazing Colonel (who made full bird Colonel shortly after I left) who always had time for me, or I should say always made time for me. When I would walk in for my shift he was always already on shift and when he'd see me he would yell across the entire floor (our work office was a very large opened area a few thousand square feet), "Sue - how do you do?" Which I in turn I would laugh. Smile real big. Turn red every time. And feel like part of the team. Always.

And then there was that time our team had a party at one of the NCO's house (who happened to be my supervisor). About ten of us played strip UNO...and that is all I'm going to say about that. Except, thankfully, I won!