HURLBURT FIELD, FLA. --
'Service before self, excellence in all we do and integrity first' are the core values every Airman in the U.S. Air Force raises their right hand and swears an oath to do. Since 1987, Hurlburt Field has had a member on its team that never signed on the dotted line or raised his right hand. Instead he provided for our families with passion and the love to make people happy.
Robert Carson, a service contractor for 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron, believes he only needs two tools, that aren't in his toolbox, to influence and impact the lives of others: kindness and hard work.
Carson has been working on Hurlburt Field since gas prices were still under a dollar and he knows each house like the back of his hands. Even after three decades, his co-workers still talk about his passion for his job and how it shows in his work and how his exceptional customer service has never wavered.
"Roberts's hands have touched every bit of these houses under various contractors' along the way," said Jerry Schauer, project manager for GCC Enterprises for 1st SOCES. "He also continues to touch the lives of Air Force Special Operations Command Airmen, their spouses and children who have come and gone, and even returned years later."
During the Regan administration, Carson started at the bottom of the ranks in an interim position where he was told to just learn everything he could. His hard work and dedication aided him in becoming a skilled carpenter and eventually a superintendent for GCC Enterprises, Inc.
Carson credits his passion to make families happy as the drive behind his many years of service to the Air Force. He has seen first-hand, the difference he makes in families when their houses are fixed and working properly while their loved ones are deployed.
"I don't care who you come in contact with--you have to understand them and respect them," Carson said. "Once you treat someone with respect, and they give you respect back, you can turn anything around."
Even as a superintendent, Carson wants to get his hands dirty. Every day he goes and works with his younger co-workers to mentor and train them in every aspect of maintaining a house.
"You have to explain why they are doing it, how to do it and then go show them," said Carson. "Once you have explained to them the reason behind what they are doing and show them how to do it, your work reflects through their work."
After more than 25 years of service, Robert still shows up at the doors of families, making them happy and smile with his hard work and dedication to the job.
"When I give him a task, he works on it until it is done regardless of the time of day," Schauer said. "He doesn't just do that for the company, he does that for the families--the families are his primary motivation."
Carson believes that family is where he got his drive to work hard and his passion to make people happy.
"My grandma told me that you have to work hard to get what you want," said Carson. "So I did, and now I pass it on to the people I mentor. If I can get one person to start off like I did, it will be worth the while."
A Video about Carson is also available on the Hurlburt Field Facebook page.