Jay Carpenter said he joined the Air Force at age 23 because he was tired of working dead end jobs in his hometown. Carpenter said he was also attracted to the military's opportunities in training, travel, education and career building.
Carpenter retired from the Air Force in 2005 after 20 years of service. He recently became the librarian at Lindsey Steiner Elementary.
Carpenter has an associate degree in Air Force fuels technology, a bachelor degree in history and a master's degree in education. He also has a strong interest in history.
What are three important things the Air Force taught you?
Teamwork and how important it is to work together toward a goal. Integrity. To always do the right thing even if it is the hard or unpopular choice.
Acceptance. I met numerous people from various backgrounds and learned to see things from their point of view and to have empathy and respect for others and their cultures.
Have you served in any wars?
Desert Storm: Saudi Arabia-Kuwait. I was a flight engineer on a C-130 delivering jet fuel to numerous isolated locations supporting national and coalition forces.
Iraqi Freedom: Baghdad International Airport, Iraq. I supplied fuel to international and coalition forces.
Please share a few notable accomplishments you've made in the Air Force.
I like to think I served my nation well and represented the USAF and the United States in a positive way, especially when dealing with international partners in the war effort.
When did your interest in history develop? How often do you study history?
I have always liked history ever since high school and I had teachers who would make the subject interesting.
What are some of your favorite books on military, history and social studies?
I have read so many books over the years. I really enjoy books about Lincoln, the Vietnam conflict and the Middle East.
Please describe your new position at Lindsey Steiner Elementary.
I am the librarian and I teach career technology to Fifth and Sixth graders. It is so important to allow this age group to practice and hone their keyboarding skills and to ensure they know basic programs such as those in the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Power-Point and Excel). It's very important to ensure they practice smart research and to not believe everything on the Internet.
What is something most people don't know about you?
I am very open with people if they ask. I really don't have any secrets.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Working in my craft shop, riding the motorcycle with my wife, driving my car, treasure hunting with metal detectors with my wife.
Where are your favorite places to travel and why?
I really like to see places in the United States and have a "bucket list" of places to visit someday.
What is one of the riskiest things you have ever done?
I am sure flying in war zones and traveling in Iraq via convoy rank high on the risk meter.
Name: Jay Carpenter
Hometown: Red Oak, Iowa
Occupation: Librarian and career technology teacher at Lindsey-Steiner Elementary
Married to: Robbie Carpenter for nearly one year.
Children: Joey, Kasey, Noël
— Compiled by CMI staff writer Benna Sayyed