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ARPC icon retires at 43 years

Linda Bradford served all of her 43 years of Federal civilian service at Air Reserve Personnel Center. A Denver native, Linda began her career Dec. 18, 1972, and served at all three locations ARPC has been located -- York Street, Lowry AFB and Buckley AFB. She retired from ARPC March 30, 2016, and plans to pursue her hobbies in reading, sewing and singing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mark Nelson)

Linda Bradford served all of her 43 years of Federal civilian service at Air Reserve Personnel Center. A Denver native, Linda began her career Dec. 18, 1972, and served at all three locations ARPC has been located -- York Street, Lowry AFB and Buckley AFB. She retired from ARPC March 30, 2016, and plans to pursue her hobbies in reading, sewing and singing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mark Nelson)

Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado --

At 25, Linda Bradford signed on to work at the Air Reserve Records Center at the York Street location in downtown Denver, Dec. 18, 1972. Forty three years, two more locations and countless transitions later, she’s signing off, ready to enjoy a quiet life of retirement and community involvement.

A Denver native and 1965 West High School graduate, Linda attended two years at Colorado State University in Fort Collins before leaving to work at Miller & Co. Western Wear for a year. She later worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield for four years before applying for a job with the civil service.

“I always thought that civil service was attractive employment,” she said. “I took the civil service test. I knew no one here or had heard about (ARRC).” Linda was placed at the Air Reserve Records Center, the predecessor to today’s Air Reserve Personnel Center now at Buckley AFB.

She started as a typist in the Directorate of Plans, but since has served at the consolidated base personnel office where she processed record reviews and answered questions, the awards and decorations section, point management, retirements, retirements administration, answered calls in the phone center and even carried the address management system by herself between transitions in center programming. There are few things she hasn’t done in the center.

Linda said she couldn’t count how many jobs she had worked because transitions weren’t always easy to determine.

“Our offices would be configured one way, and then another,” she said about how work could shift without her position formally changing.

That change has continued for the entirety of her tenure.

“When we were at York Street, the whole organization was a backwoodsy kind of place,” she said. “In the interim, it’s changed to a place of strong reputation and power, and has taken on a lot of responsibility.”

What she loved most, though, wasn’t the work.

“I loved to become acquainted with the people who worked here,” she said. “I’ve known many people who were talented and adept at what they did and worked hard.”

Her current supervisor felt honored to have had the opportunity to work with someone with Linda’s level of legacy.

“I was excited to know that we had this tremendous wealth of ARPC experience in our section,” said Capt. Avril Mitchell, chief of personnel readiness. “She provided an invaluable perspective on the history, progression and transition of the center.  She also shared a few amazing stories.”

Sad to lose Linda and her experience, Mitchell is eager to see her begin a new chapter.

While it is a tremendous loss for our team and the center, I'm extremely happy for Miss Linda to be moving into a much deserved and enjoyable next phase of her life,” said Mitchell. “She is a true testament to the dedicated American worker.

As her time with ARPC draws to a close, Linda hopes to get to things she’s always wanted to do.

“I’m going to take on the really big project of getting my house in order,” she said. Linda has lived in the same house her entire life, a home built by her father and grandfather.

She also wants to get to her hobbies.

“I read extensively,” she said. “I read novels and other books that interest me a lot. It’s important to learn new things at every stage of life.”

Linda also plans on singing with an ensemble at her church, returning to her art of sewing and knitting and getting back to projects she’s put aside.

“It’s an honor to have worked with Ms. Bradford,” said Col. Sean McElhaney-Pahia, commander, ARPC. “That she’s been here for 43 years is a testament to her commitment to this center, the Air Force and the people who work here. I would hope everyone could learn from her example and her professionalism. She will be missed.”