For Willie Eagle, joining the Exchange in 1969 came at the perfect time.
“Jobs were scarce when I started working here,” Eagle said. “The Exchange gave me job security and helped me take care of my family.”
Eagle, 71, was honored for his 50 years of service by Director/CEO Tom Shull, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Transportation Tom Lozier, Chief Operating Officer Dave Nelson and Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes at the Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Exchange, where he works as a motor vehicle operator foreman.
‘Rare, vital experience’
Jeff Byerly, regional fleet specialist and Eagle’s manager, drove from Waco to attend the presentation.
“Willie provides a vast amount of knowledge and insight to the job,” Byerly said. “The Waco fleet and the Exchange benefits daily from his rare, vital experience.”
Eagle began his Exchange career at the San Antonio Distribution Center, which closed in March 1989. He then became a truck driver, spending long stretches away from his family delivering goods to Exchange stores throughout Texas.
“Trucking is hard and dangerous,” Eagle said. “Most people don’t know what drivers go through.”
‘A long journey’
He was promoted to his current position in 1994, where he oversees the drivers at Joint Base San Antonio. He also sometimes fills in for drivers who need to take leave, even driving on the weekends as the need arises.
“It’s been a long journey,” Eagle said. “I’m glad I’ve been able to work this long for the organization.”
Eagle has no plans to leave the Exchange anytime soon.
“I’m sure I’ll retire eventually, but I’m taking that day by day for now.”