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Years of service highlight civilians' commitment to ARPC

Nellie Herbert (right) gets a surprise when Brig. Gen. Kevin Pottinger, ARPC commander, presents her with a certificate of service for surpassing 30 years of federal employment. Nearly one-fourth of ARPC's civilian workforce has more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dwayne Beuthel)

Nellie Herbert (right) gets a surprise when Brig. Gen. Kevin Pottinger, ARPC commander, presents her with a certificate of service for surpassing 30 years of federal employment. Nearly one-fourth of ARPC's civilian workforce has more than 30 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dwayne Beuthel)

Denver -- Nellie Herbert remembers watching as the Air Force built the Air Reserve Personnel Center's home on Lowry Air Force Base more than 30 years ago.

"I was right across the way in base housing," she said. "I'd stand in my bedroom window and watch them build this building."

Mrs. Herbert and her husband, Herbie, lived on Lowry AFB from 1973-76. He was a sergeant at ARPC when the Center was located on York Street in Denver.

After a tour in Germany, Mrs. Herbert returned to Denver in 1979, three years after ARPC had opened its doors at its current location. She took the civil service exam and started working at the Center as a GS-2 files clerk making slightly more than $8,000 a year.

"I thought that was a lot of money," she said. "It was important work to me. I was doing something for the service member."

Mrs. Herbert is one of 44 out of 224 civilian employees at ARPC who have 30 or more years of federal civil service.

"The numbers tell the story of a long-standing commitment to the Air Force and ARPC," said Gloria Goodgain, ARPC civilian personnel officer, who has more than 36 years of service. "There are years of expertise here supporting our Citizen Airmen each and every day."

Brig. Gen. Kevin Pottinger, ARPC commander, makes it a point to personally present each employee who reaches a milestone in their federal career with their certificate and pin of service.

"Thirty years of service - that is dedication," General Pottinger said. "Our civilian employees are the ones who have to keep things running when we have to go to war. These are the people who make sure we get paid and ensure our families are taken care of."

The career of a civil servant is often just as varied as their military counterparts.

In 1969, Virginia Harrison began working at Lowry AFB. She started as a GS-3 dental clerk, then worked as a secretary in the photography department, and later worked as a text editor and statistician. Today, Ms. Harrison is ARPC's civilian payroll clerk.

"I haven't had any bad jobs," she said. "I've enjoyed the experiences and the people. I've made it fun."

With ARPC's planned move to Buckley AFB by 2011, Mrs. Herbert said she looks forward to continuing her service at ARPC.

"I have a passion for what I do. I love helping people," she said. "This is a place where I grew up."
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