Springside at Seneca Hill is recognizing its many veterans during the month of May and pays special tribute to Lois and Don White, who spent their military careers in the U.S. Air Force.
The Whites began their military service for similar reasons, but at different locations.
Don grew up in the small town of Bristol, Tenn., and yearned for some adventure.
It was the early 1950s and the Korean Conflict had just begun. His initial assignment was Lackland Air Force base in Texas, where he was assigned as an operating room technician.
He soon moved on to Fort Sam Houston, also in Texas, where he learned how to care for the many soldiers returning from Korea with various stages of frostbite.
Meanwhile, Lois, who grew up in Hannibal, joined the Air Force, along with her twin sister, Lucy.
The sisters took part in flight nurse training and were assigned to Bolling Air Force Base, located near the nation’s capital.
“I always wanted to get into the military. I liked it and I stayed,” Lois said of her 20 years of service.
It was at Bolling that the couple met and was married.
With the exception of several short stints, they spent their entire military careers together.
In the early 1960s, they were stationed for four years at a base in Spain, an assignment they especially enjoyed.
One of the perks was traveling to the nearby European countries of Germany, England, Italy, France and Portugal.
“There is a lot of history there to see,” Don said.
As their careers advanced there were other assignments where they served together including Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, Castle Air Force Base in California, and Goose Bay in Labrador, Canada.
“They were very good about keeping spouses together,” Lois said.
Lois, a registered nurse, retired with her 20 years of service as a Lt. Colonel who supervised the operating room at the base hospital at Goose Bay.
Don would retire a year later from the former Kincheloe Base in Michigan, with 24 years of service as a Senior Master Sgt.
He was a medical administrator who oversaw the enlisted personnel.
They both felt that a career in the military suited them well.
“Each morning I got up and looked forward to going to work,” Don said. “At first you go in for the adventure, and next thing you know you have ten years in and want to continue to reach the 20-year milestone.”
The Whites are now enjoying their retirement years at Springside at Seneca Hill.
Lois has her twin sister, Lucy Fuss, and brother, Courtney Cook, living close by in Hannibal.
Like many of their fellow Americans, veterans, and non-veterans alike, the couple will remember the many veterans of the United States armed forces during the Memorial Day holiday.