Dave Westfall entered the U. S. Army in 1956, looking to obtain a job skill.
“I had just finished high school and wanted training I could use in a career,” said Westfall. “I never imagined I would stay for 21 years and retire.”
After basic and advanced infantry training, Westfall was trained as a Dental Lab Technician.
“It wasn’t an area I thought about until I got in the Army, but it worked out to be excellent training which I continued to use after retiring,” Westfall said.
Four years in Ft. McPherson, Georgia were followed by three years in France, during the early 1960’s.
“I was there as DeGaulle was throwing NATO out of the country,” said Westfall. “My initial assignment was to Croix Chappeau and I ended the three years in Orleans. The French countryside was beautiful, but the people didn’t treat Americans very well.”
Returning to the U. S., Westfall spent the next 11 years at Ft. Hood, Texas.
“I kept volunteering for Vietnam and the Army kept rejecting it because of my MOS,” said Westfall.
His last four years were spent at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas as an instructor, and later chief instructor, at the Army’s Academy of Health Sciences.
“It was a great assignment to finish my career with,” he said.
After retirement from the Army, Westfall worked at Winston-Salem Dental Care in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“My army training made it easy for me to get the job,” he said. “Many of the dentists were in the reserves so we had a lot in common.”
In retirement, Westfall continued association with the military through visiting bases from time to time to shop in the commissary and exchange and visit with active duty personnel.
“The camaraderie you experience in the service is hard to explain to people who have never served,” he said. “I enjoy going to bases and experiencing that to this day.”
A second retirement several years ago brought Westfall to the Grand Strand.
“I visited here many times on golf vacations and I liked the area,” he said. “When I retired from Winston-Salem, it seemed like the natural place to live.”
Westfall continues to enjoy the camaraderie of the service with trips to Ft. Jackson and membership in the American Legion.
“I also have a daughter who is a pharmaceutical technician in the U. S. Air Force,” he said. “Her first duty station was at Hickam Field in Honolulu, so I visited quite often. She is now stationed in Oklahoma and I just got back from a recent trip.”