Moody civilian hangs hat after 45 years

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Frances Locquiao
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
After almost a half-century of commitment to the Department of Defense, a Moody civilian from the Airman and Family Readiness Center hung up his hat to relax and explore the rest of the world.

Terry Grenat, A&FRC community readiness consultant, ended a 45-year military and civil service career during his retirement ceremony May 30.

The Lafayette, Ind., native enlisted in the Air Force shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

"The military seemed like a good life," said the consultant. "I wanted to travel, take advantage of the educational opportunities and gain experience."

Mr. Grenat's military career began as a security forces apprentice in February 1963 at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.

"I worked 10 to 12 hours a day, not to mention the cold weather in Wyoming," he said. "It was not something I really wanted to do so I decided to cross-train."

Since the consultant wasn't able to cross-train during his first-term enlistment, he decided to separate and became a member of the inactive Air Force Reserve. Soon after, he re-enlisted and cross-trained to become an air traffic controller in 1968.

"It was a challenging job, but there were benefits such as the enlistment bonus," Mr. Grenat said. "It was both a rewarding and exciting career. I learned a lot about the mission and you get to see more action."

Being an air traffic controller allowed him to be stationed in bases around the world to include Phu Bai and Tan San Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, and Kunsan AB, Korea.

"I loved being stationed overseas," he said. "I wished I would have stayed there throughout my enlistment.

"It was great seeing how different people live and learning a new language," he added. "Because of my travels, I know how to speak the Korean language and count in Japanese."

Mr. Grenat said of all his assignments, he enjoyed working at Osan AB, Korea, the most because of its high operations tempo and being close to the mission.

"I loved visiting all the places around Osan," said the consultant. "The history dates back 3,000 years. Plus, one of my biggest accomplishments was being able to set up tours in Korea, which introduced servicemembers to the cultural sights there."

Osan AB was also where he met his wife, Chun Cha. The couple married in July 1981 and is still together after almost 27 years. They have three children and two grandchildren.

After retiring as a chief master sergeant June 30, 1987, he continued his military service by accepting a job as an air traffic control instructor at the Mike Maroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma.

After being an air traffic instructor for three years, he returned to Osan AB in 1990 as an education technician and counselor at the base's Education Office. In December 1993, he started his work with Osan's Family Support Center, which is now called the A&FRC. 

"I continued working as a contractor because I've always enjoyed being around the military," said Mr. Grenat. "I enjoy helping people resolve their issues and concerns."

When he finished his assignment at Yokota AB, Japan in 2006, the consultant came to work at Moody for the second time.

"Terry was an awesome member to have on the team and he brought a lot of professionalism with him when he arrived," said Senior Master Sgt. Victor Johnson, A&FRC flight superintendent. "He brought innovative ideas and ways in which the process could be worked differently."

When the recently-retired civilian looks back, he said the Air Force has been good to him because he was given the opportunity meet new people and discover new places.
"The military has created a better work ethic in me," he said. "It has shown me the need to educate myself and continue to grow. It also gave me a desire to travel and see different cultures the world has to offer."

Even though Mr. Grenat will say goodbye to Air Force service one last time, he and his wife plan to stay in Valdosta.

Now that he has more free time, he is looking forward to taking motorcycle trips on his Harley-Davidson, reading, gardening and travelling to places he's never been before.

His co-workers said his presence in the office will be missed.

"I will always remember Terry for his willingness to assist in any way that he could," said Sergeant Johnson. "He really has an upbeat spirit about himself."