AFRH-W Veteran Highlight
By Christine Baldwin
Ron Persing was born in Kansas and raised in small rural towns in several central states. The high school was small and as Ron says “I didn’t let schooling interfere with my education.” Back then, they played outside; no TV, radio or other electronic gadgets. Weekends were spent having card parties with friends and families. Most of the boys joined the Boy Scouts and Ron was very proud when his Mother pinned the Eagle rank on his chest. During World War 2, Ron and his friends did all they could to support the cause; donating scrap metal, paper and buying War Bonds. They all wanted to be a little older so that they could join up!
Korea came along and the service was waiting for Ron. He made up his mind one morning in 1950 at 9:00 a.m. and was on the bus to Kansas City by 1:30 p.m. He had chosen the U.S. Air Force!
He was assigned to many stations in the states and overseas and was able to travel to every Central and South American country and most of the Orient. While in Central America, Ron was able to gather intelligence by working as a clown. Ron was able to work as a Scout Master on many of the bases and in that way could give back a little of what had been given to him. He was also able to have his family with him and says “My kids saw more of the world by accident than their civilian friends did on planned trips.”
Ron retired in 1976 and because of his retirement check could pick and choose jobs. In 1987, Ron had a total knee replacement, so decided to become a professional sharpener. Knives, scissors, shears, medical equipment for vets, you name it, he sharpened it. The family got a Motor Home with a work van on the back. So wherever they stopped, he could offer his sharpening expertise, making the travel tax deductible. Ron retired again at 81 years old. “It really wasn’t work the last 24 years because I enjoyed the challenge too much to call it a job.”
AFRH-W is a blessing to Ron. He has Good Friends, a nice room, health care and food. He feels like he has found a home for the next 25 years, God willing.