Vice commander retires after 33 years of service

Brig. Gen. Eric Vollmecke presents Colonel Brian Truman with the Legion of Merit during Truman’s retirement ceremony at the 167th Airlift Wing on August 5, 2012. Truman served the unit in several capacities including Wing vice commander before retiring after 33 years of service. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Brig. Gen. Eric Vollmecke presents Colonel Brian Truman with the Legion of Merit during Truman’s retirement ceremony at the 167th Airlift Wing on August 5, 2012. Truman served the unit in several capacities including Wing vice commander before retiring after 33 years of service. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle)

Martinsburg, W.Va. -- The 167th Airlift Wing's vice commander is retiring after 33 years of military service.
Col. Brian Truman has served as vice commander since October 2007.
Truman, a native of Berkeley County, W.Va., began his military career as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy in 1979.
"I was going to West Virginia University," he said. "It was the end of my junior year and I was broke. I saw this poster for the Navy on the wall in the engineering building that said to come join the Navy."
Truman served as a nuclear research engineer in the Navy for more than five years before returning to the civilian world.
"When I left the Navy I took a job at the Department of Veterans Affairs here in Martinsburg," he said. "I worked there for about a year and then the Security Forces' commander (from the 167th) came to me and told me about a job offering at the base. I was interested. I had found that I missed the military."
Truman's first position on base was as the assistant base engineer which he held until October 1987. Since then he has held many different positions serving as commander of the Communications Flight, commander of the Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (CAMS), commander of the Support Group, and commander of the Maintenance Group prior to becoming the Wing's vice commander.
Truman said he couldn't pick one job that he enjoyed more than the others.
"Each job had something about it that leaves me with a great memory," he said "It is hard to pick out just one. Each job has one great memory."
Truman said he has had a long satisfying career.
"What is so satisfying is all the help and camaraderie that I have had over the years," he said. "I have heard people over the years when they leave say that they 'won't miss the job but they will miss the people.'"
Truman noted he knows what they mean by that, but has a different outlook on it.
"I have a lot of years and a lot of memories about a lot of events," he said. "I was very fortunate to be involved in a lot of different things happening around the base. When I look back on all of those (events), what make them so memorable are the people I did them with."
Adding: "So for me it is a combination; what are so satisfying to me are the things that we all accomplished together. My memories are of events, but events that are colored with the people."
After 33 years of being in the military Truman said he will definitely miss it. Adding that the biggest thing he would miss is "The structure."
When asked what he will miss the most about being the vice commander, Truman smiled and said, "The opportunity to get involved in a plethora of projects."
Adding: "There was nothing at this Wing that happened that I didn't have an opportunity to get involved in. There is always something new and interesting happening."
Truman said he just wanted to tell everyone on base: "Thank you, plain and simple."
Lt. Col. Shaun Perkowski is taking over responsibility as the Wing's vice commander.