Every day, Quality Control Inspector Levar Alexander ensures that PRIDE Industries delivers quality landscaping and custodial services to our military customer at Travis Air Force Base. When Levar took this position with PRIDE in 2017, he was already familiar with the base, as he had just retired from a long military career. PRIDE is fortunate to have Levar on the team; he shares his story below:
“While growing up in the small town of Cadiz, Kentucky, I always longed for an opportunity to see the world and serve my country. I signed up for the U.S. Air Force during my last year of high school in 1996 and immediately left after graduating in 1997. I always had an interest in fixing airplanes, so the Air Force was a perfect option.
I began basic training, including combat arms instruction, at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. After that, I relocated to Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas, graduating from tech school and becoming an aircraft technician. Shortly after, I was stationed at McChord AFB in Lakewood, Washington.
My passion for repairing aircraft developed into a long, fulfilling career. I served as a 2A671 Aerospace Propulsion Technician for 20 years, repairing C-141, C-17, C-5, A-10, and F-16 aircraft. As I rose through the ranks, I became the Chief for F-16, F15, A-10, C-5, C-17, and C-141 aircraft.
During my service, I completed multiple tours in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and South Korea. While working overseas, I also teamed up with individuals from other countries, including Germany, Australia, France, Canada, Italy, and South Korea. This experience opened my eyes and made me realize that although others may not do things the way that I do, ultimately, the job gets done if we all work together.
My most memorable deployment was Operation Enduring Freedom. Finding out that I was going to Afghanistan was very sobering. I knew that this was a serious conflict and that sometimes people didn’t come back. While there, I was responsible for taking care of the aircraft; however, I knew I had to defend the base if we were under attack. We stayed on base, so I didn’t learn much about the local culture. But, from afar, I could tell that life moved at a slower pace, and the people were extremely appreciative of any assistance.
My favorite posting was Diego Garcia, a tropical island located in the Indian Ocean. The weather was amazing, and the water was crystal clear—it was paradise!
I retired from the military in 2017. I received multiple achievement awards and meritorious service medals, but I felt proudest when I fully returned to my family. Our separation was the most challenging part of my service. You miss birthdays, holidays, important events; life continues to move forward for others, even when you’re not there.
Fortunately, my transition to civilian life was smooth. I immediately found a new direction when I started working with PRIDE Industries. A good friend encouraged me to apply, and it has been an amazing ride working with the team here at Travis AFB. My colleagues inspire me every day, and I enjoy helping them be more proficient at their jobs. Ultimately, it’s been a smooth transition. I like that I can continue to serve the military through my job; it gives me an enormous sense of accomplishment.”