DAPS employee at Moody surpasses 45 years in federal service

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Frances Locquiao
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
For nearly a half century, a Moody member has been serving the men and women of the base and has no plans to stop now.

Donald Griffin began working here in 1961 when he was only 23 years old. Now 71 years old, he still serves as the base's Document Automation and Production Service supervisor and recently achieved a career milestone by completing 45 years of federal service.

"At the time, I had just finished serving four years in the Air Force and was looking for a job," said the Nashville, Ga., native. "I decided I wanted to try to work at Moody because it offered plenty of job opportunities and it was closer to where I lived."

As a contractor employee, Mr. Griffin worked in the boiler rooms to ensure there was adequate heating for buildings throughout the base.

After three years, he started his federal career working at the Commissary and then moved to the academic supply store, where he provided educational materials for new pilot students.

"Since it was a training base at the time, we saw about 80 new pilot students every six weeks," he said. "While we distributed training supplies to each new student, we were able to get to know most of them and it was interesting to be able to hear their stories."

After spending two years at the academic supply store, Mr. Griffin transferred to the base supply store. It was in 1986 when he accepted a job with the base printing facility, where he is still currently employed.

"When I first came to work at the facility, there were five military members and I became the third civilian," he said. "This Air Force Specialty Code no longer exists, so it became a print shop ran solely by civilians.

"After all these years, I'm still working here because I like my job," he added. "I also enjoy meeting new people every day and talking with ones I've known for years."

Mr. Griffin's job includes printing materials needed for retirement programs, change of command ceremonies, distinguished visitors and itineraries, as well as Air Force guidance, instructions and technical orders.

"Don remains dedicated to supporting the printing and related needs of his customers," said Daniel Gacek, DAPS customer account manager from Jacksonville, Fla. "We want to recognize his hard work and long-time service to DAPS."

Along with his experience in printing, Mr. Griffin has witnessed firsthand more than 50 years of the base's history.

"I remember when there were still World War II-style buildings and one large air strip," he said. "All those buildings were replaced with concrete or brick ones in the late 1970s and we now have a flightline.

"Also, I've seen the base's mission change quite a bit over the years," he added. "We used to have the T-37 Tweet, T-38 Talon and F-4E Phantom II, which were all used for training. Currently, our mission includes components of a search and rescue wing in addition to a specialized security forces group and the A-10C Thunderbolt II."

Although he is past retirement, Mr. Griffin does not have plans to leave the printing shop just yet.

"I don't plan on retiring any time soon," said Mr. Griffin. "I like working at Moody and as long as I am physically able to do my job, then that's how long I plan to stay."

When Mr. Griffin feels like it's the right time to retire, he plans on finding a part-time job and doing some travelling.

"I want to visit my brother in Philadelphia, Pa., and spend time with him," he said. "I also want to go hunting more often and get some yard work done. It will just be a time for me to relax."