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Earl Hendrix

Chief Master Sergeant (Ret.) Earl Hendrix began his Air Force career on his 18th birthday in 1957. He served as a bomb loader on multiple aircraft. While serving in Vietnam, a rocket pummeled his bunker, killing him and 17 others. When he was transported, he was tossed onto a concrete slab and his heart miraculously restarted. A medical examiner at the morgue found his pulse and sought immediate medical attention. From a beatless heart to a Purple Heart, Hendrix continued his 30-year career working on the flightline. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis Millican)

Chief Master Sergeant (Ret.) Earl Hendrix began his Air Force career on his 18th birthday in 1957. He served as a bomb loader on multiple aircraft. While serving in Vietnam, a rocket pummeled his bunker, killing him and 17 others. When he was transported, he was tossed onto a concrete slab and his heart miraculously restarted. A medical examiner at the morgue found his pulse and sought immediate medical attention. From a beatless heart to a Purple Heart, Hendrix continued his 30-year career working on the flightline. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis Millican)

Chief Master Sergeant (Ret.) Earl Hendrix began his Air Force career on his 18th birthday in 1957. He served as a bomb loader on multiple aircraft. While serving in Vietnam, a rocket pummeled his bunker, killing him and 17 others. When he was transported, he was tossed onto a concrete slab and his heart miraculously restarted. A medical examiner at the morgue found his pulse and sought immediate medical attention. From a beatless heart to a Purple Heart, Hendrix continued his 30-year career working on the flightline. In 1981, Hendrix served as the senior enlisted advisor at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. He eventually retired there with his wife Kem.

Today, nearly 30 years after retiring, Hendrix is still a pillar of support in the Moody military and civilian communities attending events and speaking to Airmen. He claims he never really learned how to retire and is still a member of the United States Air Force, just in retired status. He said, "The oath of enlistment has no expiration date, which in my mind makes this a lifetime commitment that I will continue to fulfill every chance I get."