Fifty years in a blink of an eye

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Oleksandra G. Manko
  • Nellis AFB Public Affairs
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." - e. e. Cummings

"What will I do next? I've got rehearsals with Chippendales ... no... I'm going to be a greeter at the commissary ... no ... I have a lot of home projects that I let go for many years and I'm going to catch up on them. I was also hoping to get hired at Lowes, seriously. I'd like to get the employee discount. They sell a lot of things I use at home ... I'm going to travel some ... if the gas price goes down ... so there goes my motor home ... Where would I like to go? Well, let's see, Henderson, North Las Vegas ..."

After 49 years, 8 months and 17 days of ensuring that no day went wasted for his Air Force fellow coworkers, Bruce Ronzheimer, a civil service aircraft mechanic with the 57th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, moves on to his well-deserved retirement.

"He is extremely humorous and an outstanding worker," said Tech. Sgt. Brian Olmstead, chief of the 57th EMS repair and reclamation section. "He puts 100 percent into every task, does everything right the first time."

Mr. Ronzheimer's story with the Air Force began in 1957, when he enlisted just three months after graduating from high school. In the following 23 years of active duty, he worked in transient alert, as a crew chief, a flight mechanic, an aero repair tech and a first sergeant.

Mr. Ronzheimer served three tours in Vietnam, during one of which he narrowly escaped being shot, has been stationed in Germany, France, New York, Michigan, Arizona and California. While in France, early in his career, Mr. Ronzheimer met his wife, Renate, to whom he has been married for 46 years now.

Shortly after his retirement as a senior master sergeant in 1980, he applied for civil service and landed a job at Nellis, where he has worked since.

"I'll definitely miss his humor," said Sergeant Olmstead. "His knowledge and experience in mechanics and the Air Force will never be matched."

Mr. Ronzheimer's retirement ceremony will be held Nov. 30th at 2 p.m. at the Outdoor Recreation Center on base.