Community Volunteer and Veterans Advocate
Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant | 1974-2019 | High Voltage Switch Yard Operator - Occupational Health & Safety Instructor
We are pleased to introduce you to Carl H. He is our Cold War Patriots, November 2020 Everyday Patriot.
Carl worked at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PDGP) for 45½ years. Carl claims to be 70, amazingly, he worked at the Portsmouth Plant for more than half of his life.
Carl and his wife Brenda live on a small farm in Beaver, Ohio. Carl and Brenda have a daughter and a teenage grandson.
Carl was a laborer out of high school. Due to an error by a co-worker in the assembly of scaffolding, Carl fell 3 stories while carrying 2 very heavy cinder blocks. The doctor told Carl that the surgeries to repair his injuries would be extremely expensive. He advised that Carl had two options, Carl could take on the medical expenses himself and then get drafted by the Army and sent into the Vietnam War, or he could voluntarily enlist in either the Navy or the Air Force and receive healthcare and surgeries in return for his military service to our country.
Carl enlisted in the Air Force. During his service to our country, Carl attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. Carl worked in intelligence at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base. During his service in Thailand, Carl was almost killed by a sniper while fighting for the freedom of others.
Due to the top-secret information that Carl was exposed to during his service in Thailand, he was banned from traveling to Vietnam. Carl was required to return to the US directly from Thailand.
Carl is a firm believer in speaking your truth, fighting for what is right, and the power of peaceful protesting. Carl believes everyone can make a difference if they put in the effort. Carl began taking college courses when he returned home from Vietnam. Shortly thereafter, President Nixon began the program of preferential hiring for Military/Vietnam Veterans. Being a military veteran, combined with the completion of five college-level courses led to Carl being hired at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
One of Carl’s earliest jobs at PDGP was as an Accident and Incident Investigator. Soon after, Carl was offered a wonderful opportunity and became an Occupational Safety and Health Instructor. Carl’s earlier job-related accident as a laborer, and the lack of safety regulations and training at the plant, combined with the abundance of exposure to hazardous chemicals, made this one of the most satisfying positions Carl held during his 45 ½ years at PDGP. He enjoyed teaching others the proper safety precautions to take, the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and how to acquire an understanding of their use of chemicals. Carl felt he was able to make a true difference in the lives of his co-workers. Carl did this training of others outside of his 40 hours of work weekly; he conducted these training sessions on nights and weekends.
The pandemic has put all, or most, of Carl’s volunteering on hold. But prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, he kept very busy volunteering in his community. He participates actively in the following ways:
- In the Lion’s Club, where he has held the position of both the President and Treasurer.
- Organizing the Lion’s club 2-mile Highway Trash Pick-up Project.
- Researching genealogy and doing monument and cemetery repair.
- Being a member of the I-73/74 Corridor Project Committee, the group that designed the Canada to South
- Carolina Hurricane Evacuation Route.
- Assisting former nuclear weapons workers with their submissions for their EEOICPA benefits.
- Attending ALL Cold War Patriots (CWP) events! Carl feels that CWP does a great job with issues, updates, and communication to nuclear complex workers. Carl also enjoys seeing his former co-workers at the CWP events.
When asked: “What was your favorite memory of your 45 ½ years working at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant?”, he quickly answered, “The training I gave to others”. Carl also has very fond memories of working with U.S. Senator and astronaut, John Glenn!
Carl’s words of wisdom:
Keep going forward… Keep moving… YOU, one individual, can make a difference.
Call your legislators! Get on the internet! Thanks to the internet, YOU can email your politicians!
If you make an effort, you WILL make a difference.
Carl did a great deal of work and lobbying to get the EEOICPA Act passed!
Carl authored this term:
“The Cold War patriots at these sites kept the free world free from communist aggression and it is time to pay them back!”
Carl has great wit and a wonderful sense of humor. When asked if he had a month preference for our calendar, he quickly requested that he be the Calendar Centerfold!
Cold War Patriots extend a big thank you to Carl for his service to our country by proudly serving in the United States Air Force and 45½ years at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
Thank You, Carl, for your service to the United States of America!