F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
While entering the base the other day, I was greeted by a young Airman who politely said, “Welcome to F.E. Warren Air Force Base, sir!” I replied in a joking manner, “Oh, I‘ve been here before.”
I have been stationed here for several years, as both active duty and now as a civilian.
I first arrived at F.E. Warren in June of 1994. I left the base for a short tour to Osan, but happily received orders back to Wyoming in 1998 and spent the remainder of my career at this base until I recently retired in May 2016.
Many Airmen simply try survive their tour at FEW, but I feel the base and the Cheyenne community have contributed to my life and the lives of my family immensely. People have told me over the years that staying at the same base may have hurt my career. I look back and I have decided that yes, people may be right. It did hurt my career and did not allow me to progress in the ranks, but I would not sacrifice my happiness or the happiness of my loved ones to have had more stripes on my shoulder.
Some individuals may think that being here at F.E. Warren for so long is a bad thing. I like living here and that is why I chose to retire in the Cheyenne area.
I have done several things over the years to try to stay at F.E. Warren. I applied for an in-place base of preference, and I even applied for a special duty assignment as a facility manager which extended my stay here.
I have listened to the woes of Airmen for years, complaining about life and weather in Wyoming. Many complaints I heard sound the same. They hate it here in Wyoming for many different reasons, and they can’t wait to get orders to a different base. I think that listening to these complaints tends to bring down morale.
My suggestion to those individuals is to make the best of your stay here and get out and explore the many different things that Wyoming has to offer. Tour the countryside or the surrounding states. Wyoming and Colorado have some of the best scenery and sunsets that Mother Nature has to offer.
I have seen several changes to the base over the years, but I think that these changes are for the better. Many base facilities have definitely improved, especially the housing, which has improved drastically.
The moral of this story is that many people will tell you that the grass is always greener somewhere else, but take it from someone that has been here for what some people may term as too long. I think that we have it pretty good here at F.E. Warren.
Top: Winter scenes from Gate 1 at F.E. Warren, Air Force Base. Photo courtesy of Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano