By Sam Lauricella
A while ago I had the opportunity to read a book entitled Doctor in Blue, an autobiographical account of a remarkable individual's military career. The book chronicles the 30-year military history of retired Col. Martin I. Victor, M.D., USAF during which he served as a Resident in Aerospace Medicine, a family care physician and a hospital commander.
Dr. Victor's assignments ranged from Vietnam to England and to several Continental United States bases with his last posting being here at Patrick Air Force Base from where he retired in 1993.
In reading Dr. Victor's account of his different assignments, one cannot help but be impressed by his dedication and commitment to military medicine.
Throughout his entire career, with the exception of being in Vietnam, he was accompanied at each new base by his wife, Sara Jane Victor. In addition to her roles of wife and mother to their two children, she would, at each new assignment, typically involve herself working as a teacher at the base or at a local school and as a volunteer with the base's family services.
What is noteworthy about this is that Sara Jane began her volunteering in 1964 and continues to do so today with her assignment in the Airman's Attic -- an incredible period of some 52 years of service.
In terms of the total number of years volunteering, Sara Jane is probably the longest serving volunteer at the Airman's Attic. She does; however, work with a group of volunteers who like herself, are dedicated and committed to assisting military families to make the transition and adjustment to a new assignment easier.
The list of all the Attic's volunteers would be too extensive to include here, but I have listed below the names of those who each have completed more than 1,000 hours of service. Currently these seven individuals have amassed a total of over 22,500 volunteer hours at the Airman Attic.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Airman's Attic, it is an all-volunteer service, which has a variety of household and child care goods available. Newly arriving Airmen and their families may borrow items until their personal goods arrive. Items may also be borrowed by active duty and retired military personnel. Additionally, the Attic maintains a “thrift shop" type service where a variety of donated items may be taken by their customers (E-5 or below), for permanent ownership at a no-cost. The donated items include: home decor, electronics, children’s clothing and Air Force military uniforms.
Another service the Attic offers is the Coupon Corner. Coupons are cut and categorized by volunteers and placed in separate baskets from which customers may use for shopping trips. Coupons are also mailed to various bases overseas to help young families with their grocery cost.
The Airman's Attic is part of Family Services, which is organizationally under the 45th Force Support Squadron’s Airman and Family Readiness Center. Volunteer recruitment and assignment for the Attic is the responsibility of Project Emeritus.
The Airman's Attic is located at the south end of building 415 and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are always in need of new volunteers. If you are interested, please call Project Emeritus at 321-494-7657, or email email@example.com.
The following are volunteers with more than 1,000 hours serving at the Airman's Attic:
Mary M. Doonan
Marlene D. Hatfield
Edward A. O'Connor
Shirley A. Osborne
Sara J. Victor
Esther J. Wilkerson