VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Within a diverse group of civil servants, contractors, and other personnel working toward mission success, retired military members often quietly continue their service to the nation.
Whether playing a direct role in launching rockets or ensuring the base gyms are functional and sanitary, countless retirees continue their already decades of service to their country. Retired Master Sgt. Joe Orsua, 30th Force Support Squadron fitness center custodian is one such unsung patriot.
“I mainly work in the annex right now, but I have also worked in the main gym,” said Orsua. “I start work at five in the morning which is when myself and the recreational aid open up the gym and take a visual of the whole place. We then start to clean-up from the night before. We both focus on different areas and then I continue to clean throughout my shift. I really like this job. When I retired from the Air Force, I decided I wanted to continue to serve in some way. I finished up doing first sergeant duties and this is a great way for me to remain focused on the needs of Airmen.”
With two personnel manning the gym annex, a strong working relationship with the pair is an important component in day-to-day success.
“His job is focused on cleaning,” said Elizabeth Lucero-Mason, 30th FSS recreational aid. “I help him when I have time, but I mostly focus on preparing the facility for the customers, and then focus on customer service throughout the day. He’s extremely responsible and reliable. He really takes a burden off my shoulders so I can focus on being at the desk and ensure I provide quality customer service.”
After 20 years of active Air Force service, Orsua has conducted himself with the same philosophies that were instilled in him working in civil engineering.
“I was a civil engineer my whole career and my duty was all about coming to a job and leaving it better than it was when I found it,” said Orsua. “That’s what I do here. If I start something, I’m going to do the complete job. I have great satisfaction working with people who I can relate to. Even though there is an age difference, and the Air Force is a little different from when I retired, I still feel the same camaraderie, and that makes me feel welcomed here and makes me want to do the best I can for my fellow Airmen.”
For those who work with Orsua, the beliefs instilled over his military career are evident and make him a pleasure to work with.
“I definitely think his work-ethic is a result of his military career,” said Lucero-Mason. “He just goes that extra mile that you don’t always see. What gets me up in the morning is serving those who serve, and it’s a special thing to work with someone like Joe, who has the same mindset. He continues to serve the military everyday with the support and dedication he gives to everyone who walks through these doors.”