This piece originally appeared in the Nov. 3, 2023, Superintendent Cliff Chuang’s Superintendent’s Update. Please find this week’s full issue of Superintendent’s Update and back issues at bedfordps.org.
My name is Charlie Humphrey, and I am a United States Air Force veteran. I have been teaching (and being taught) at Bedford High School for the past nine glorious years in the Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps MA-791st Aerospace Science program.
Before being part of the fantastic Bedford community, I was an enlisted Air Force Master Sergeant, being part of the greatest Air Force for 24 years. I grew up in Chelmsford, just nine short miles away from Bedford, visiting here when there were events happening at the local Air Force base.
During my time in the Air Force, I was so fortunate enough to visit many countries, learn their culture, eat the most amazing foods, understand new languages, and build rapport with the most incredible people. From being stationed in South Korea, to being deployed to Saudi Arabia (3 times), to visiting Kuwait, from living in Qatar to visiting Bahrain, from traveling to the United Arab Emirates to traveling to the Horn of Africa, so many fantastic journeys, so many stories to tell, such a journey to be appreciative of.
I grew up with a large family; my mother had twelve brothers and sisters, many who served in all branches of the military, who spoke of their stories about their time in the military. With so many aunts and uncles, surprise that so many of my relatives also served, from cousins in the Army and Navy to nieces and nephews in the Marine Corp and Coast Guard. I followed in my father’s footsteps; he served in the United States Navy in the late ’60s, stationed in Adak Alaska, also deploying to Vietnam where he was what they call a SeeBee, or what we now name as a civil engineer. But even before my father, my grandfathers were in the Army Air Corp (the Air Force before it became its own separate service in 1947), both serving in World War II.
With so many people in my family laying a path of leadership and now in Bedford MA, the role models continue. From being mentored by Superintendents John Sills, Philip Conrad, and Cliff Chuang, to include the incredible Principal Heather Galante, my journey from Air Force Master Sergeant to teacher at Bedford High School has been phenomenal. I have been blessed to not only serve my country in the US Air Force but also be a part of the greatest community I call home – Bedford, Massachusetts. With the upcoming celebration called Veterans Day, pay honor to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice by listening to their life events, thanking them for their commitment and appreciating their service to country.
Thank you Bedford Community,
With Respect and Honor
Charlie Humphrey, Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret)