Tim Troyer – April Hometown Hero

These brave individuals have dedicated their lives to safeguarding our freedoms and upholding the values we hold dear; below is our interview with this month’s winner and the photo of the winner! Our winners receive awards such as an engraved knife supplied by Casey Hendrickson, a plaque by our friend Goose, tickets to “Remember: Honoring the Legacy of Veterans Past and Present” supplied by FreedomSystem.org and 95.3 MNC!

June 17, 2024

Tim T, a native of Elkhart, transitioned from hometown youth to revered serviceman, dedicating eight years to the Air Force with unwavering commitment. Following his military tenure, he contributed nearly two decades at a musical instrument distribution center before joining Adams Westlake, embodying resilience and community spirit as a cherished hometown hero in Elkhart.

Mark K

Tim, if you would tell me a little bit about yourself, background history, current work, etc.

Tim T

Well, I was born and raised in Elkhart. I went to Elkhart Central. I went into the service right after high school. Spent four years in the Air Force. I worked for multiple places but ended up at a distribution center for musical instruments for 19 years. And then I recently joined the team here at Adams Westlake.

Mark K

You mentioned you went to the Air Force. Were there other branches you considered?

Tim T

No Air Force is the only one I considered.

Mark K

Do you have any family members that were in the military?

Tim T

My dad was, he was in the army during the Korean War.

Mark K

What were some of the motivating factors that led you to seek the life?

Tim T

I felt lost after high school, wanted something different, so I went into the Air Force.

Mark K

Tim, did you have any expectations going in?

Tim T

No, not really. It’s just an eye opener. What you go through and basic training and all that.

Mark K

Was there an experience from basic that really sticks with you.

Tim T

Yeah. The first night when you get there and they’re hollering at you to get off the bus, get your ass in line. And yeah, that was the eye opener.

Mark K

Do you have a best or worst moment you’d care to share from basic?

Tim T

No, just getting through the first week was the hardest part. Being separated from your family at home and your home life. And then you get thrown into this situation where everybody’s treated the same and that first week was the hardest.

Mark K

How long did you serve?

Tim T

Four years active four years non-active.

Mark K

What rank did you attain?

Tim T

When I got out, I was a senior airman and then when I got my official separation papers, it was Sergeant, because your time accrued still.

Mark K

Take me through a typical day in your time of service.

Tim T

We worked 24 hours on the flight line loading aircraft. So, we would get a breakdown of the log of what goes on every aircraft we’d go pull it, and stage it. Then when the aircraft gets here, we would go out and unload the aircraft and then reload with new cargo.

Mark K

During your time of service, are there any aspects of that life you are glad to have experienced?

Tim T

Yeah, all of it. Just the teamwork and getting to know people and see different places.

Mark K

Are there things you miss about that life?

Tim T

There is and there isn’t. Everybody got along and worked together for one goal. Not like it is now. Everybody seems to be for themselves.

Mark K

Describe your acclimation process back to civilian life for me.

Tim T

It’s just something you get used to. You don’t have a routine every day. You can just pretty much do what you want. When you go to work there, you’re expected this, this, this. After service it’s just like, OK, I come to work and whatever.

Mark K

How has the service had an impact on your day-to-day routines that you find yourself still doing?

Tim T

The routine is to be on time to places. Every day, every day. Don’t matter if it’s a doctor’s appointment or work. Your routine is the same. So, every single day it’s not varied. You feel awkward if you vary off from that or if you’re late for work. It’s like throwing your whole day off because it’s a routine.

Mark K

How has your service impacted your view of the world?

Tim T

It really hasn’t. That’s hard to answer. That’s a good question. I don’t know. I have no idea. Really never thought about it.

Mark K

So, looking back overall, are you glad that you made the choice to serve?

Tim T

I am. I wish I would have stayed my whole 20 years. I could have retired when I was 38.

Mark K

Has benefits, yeah.

Tim T

Exactly. It’s I do I kind of wish I would have stayed in.

Mark K

Is there any advice you’d give to someone seeking to join?

Tim T

Don’t go in with blinders on. Be open-minded because they will break you down and build you up as one team. Don’t go into it thinking that you’re going to rule the world there. You’re not.

Mark K

Are there any final words or thoughts that you would like to end with?

Tim T

No, nothing else.
  • Military Service: The individual must have served in one of the branches of the military, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard.
  • Honorable Discharge: The veteran should have received an honorable discharge from their military service.
  • Community Connection: The veteran should have a strong connection to the hometown or local community that they’ve served, demonstrating their commitment to both their country and their community.
  • Demonstrated Leadership:  Whether during their military service or post-retirement, the veteran should have shown leadership qualities that positively impacted others around them.
  • Sacrifice and Dedication: Recognition is given to those who have made significant sacrifices for their country, showing dedication and loyalty to the principles of freedom and democracy.
  • Exemplary Conduct: The veteran should have maintained a high level of integrity and conduct throughout their military service and civilian life.
  • Awards and Decorations: While not necessary, any awards, medals, or commendations received for acts of valor or exceptional service can further highlight their heroism.
  • Contributions Post-Service: Any contributions the veteran has made to the community after their military service, such as volunteering, mentoring, or advocacy, can demonstrate their ongoing dedication to making a positive impact.
  • Story and Testimonials: A compelling narrative of the veteran’s military service journey and the impact they’ve had on their community, along with testimonials from peers, colleagues, or community members, can enrich their hero profile.
  • Positive Role Model: The veteran should serve as a role model, inspiring others through their actions and values.

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    Mark Kauffman



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