Published April 22, 2016
Major (Ret.) Julius Budelis was first stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base in 1955. When the base first opened, it was one of only four newly constructed Air Force bases in the entire country. All other Air Force bases at the time were originally built for the Army. The main mission for the 125 Airmen stationed there was to build the base. Budelis was a personnel specialist who managed records and handled budgeting, but he completed construction tasks in order to adjust to the base's needs.
Budelis, the son of Lithuanian immigrants, originally grew up in a small town in Connecticut. For him, moving to another small town was an easy transition. In his free time, Budelis volunteered with the Boy Scouts and took night classes, where he met his wife at his college campus. Budelis then traveled across the country and eventually commissioned in the Air Force.
After retiring in 1975, Budelis returned to his favorite base with his wife of 57 years. Budelis says the base provides him with everything he needs as a retiree. It is home for him and where he met the love of his life and grew as a young Airman.