If you ever go through security at McConnell Air Force Base there is a friendly face you likely know.
John McCormick has given more than thirty years of his life to federal law enforcement.
McCormick said he was raised in a rough town in New Jersey, so every Summer he would stay with his older sister and her husband.
They were stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where his brother in law was a drill sergeant.
“I saw how they respect your rank, and your position, it doesn’t matter where you are from, what color you are, you are all, in the military, you are one,” John McCormick said.
He said he just knew he was going to grow up to be a soldier, that was until his sister, an Air Force recruiter, chimed in.
“She was a veteran and she was the person, who really was instrumental in me going into the military,” McCormick said.
McCormick still has the Bible that was given to him in the very beginning during basic training.
“That’s from 10, August 1986,” McCormick said.
That Bible traveled all over the world, during his service in the Air Force.
He was Military Police and was stationed in Turkey when the buildup for Desert Storm started.
“That’s where every body was coming to, a lot of the aircraft, a lot of the different deployers they were coming to where we were,” McCormick said.
He said the enemy didn’t have the technology to get their missiles to the base, but he said there were still many sleepless night.
“That was the first time the government had to send military families away from the base, because it was so close to potential combat,” McCormick said.
That “potential” became full fledged war and McCormick spent more than two years in the hot zone.
“When you are in a combat situation, it’s different, you know, it’s like, I got your back, you’ve got my back,” McCormick said.
After many years with the Air Force, McCormick moved to Federal Law Enforcement, and worked as a Department of Air Force Police Officer.
“As a military policeman and as a law enforcement officer, that’s what you want to do, is go home every night to your family,” McCormick said.
He was honored many times during his three decades of service.
“It’s good to get recognition and appreciation,” McCormick said.
He said the service also allowed him to pursue his passion for sports.
As a member of the Air Force Basketball Team, he even got the opportunity one time to play basketball against Michael Jordan.
He never made the game, because his Air Force duty called.
“When the supervisor broke the news to me, they thought I was going to be so upset, but I knew at the end of the day what I am in the military for,” McCormick said.
He also met some real heroes, like Tuskeegee Airman George Watson.
“I got to meet him, he signed a book for me, personally, gave me some pictures, he has a special place in my heart,” McCormick said.
As do the many Airmen he mentored along the way, he says that part was by far the most rewarding part of his career.
“Nurturing some of the other Airmen, who were behind me, and then seeing them years later excel in their military career,” McCormick said.
He continues to share his many years of knowledge with future leaders, those who wear the badge and beyond.
McCormick has volunteered at Anderson Elementary School, where he mentors fifth graders.
He hopes to get more involved with local basketball programs in the future.