SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
Francoise Calvin, a volunteer at the Satellite Pharmacy at Scott, achieved the milestone of 55 years of volunteer service for the Red Cross this year.
Calvin started her volunteer efforts in 1962 as a nurse’s aid when her husband, retired Air Force Master Sgt. Walter Calvin, was stationed in the Philippines and she has volunteered at every base since. Calvin volunteered five days a week and said she started volunteering because of the lack of manning.
“In the Philippines we had to work because there were no civilians; the only people who worked were military,” said Francoise. “There was one nurse, and not many technicians.”
Calvin said the hardest part about the Philippines was at first when she had to stay stateside with her two children because they did not allow family travel at the time.
The Calvins met while Walter was stationed in France in 1952 and have lived at bases in Germany, France, Philippines and stateside. Francoise said she liked Germany the most because it was easy for them to visit her family and for her family to visit her.
“We have been happy anywhere we were,” said Walter. “We have been very lucky.”
Walter said they came to Scott in 1974 after he retired because he had family in the area. The Calvins have volunteered on base ever since and currently volunteer at the Satellite Pharmacy pre-packaging.
Francoise said she stopped being a nurse’s aide about two years ago, and she has enjoyed her service as a volunteer and the people she has met.
“I like it,” said Francoise. “I have met nice people, and when I was a nurse’s aide people appreciated it.”
The Calvins say they have enjoyed their life in both the military and civilian world and wouldn’t change anything.
“We’ve been in love forever,” said Walter. “Our life has been good. It’s had its ups and downs just like everyone else's, hard times and good times.”
“We have been very lucky,” Francoise added.
As for ending their volunteering, the Calvins have said they do not see that happening yet.
“We’ll be here until they kick us out,” said Walter. “We enjoy being here and it’s kept us busy.”