From solider to park host, Don Patterson enjoys life after service
When it’s winter in Iowa, 75-year-old Don Patterson travels to Arizona to “boondock.” From September to April he and his wife of three years, Kathy, will load up their RV and head for the desert to work as hosts for the Bureau of Land Management.
“We met in the desert,” he said with a grin all his own. “She came riding across the desert on a camel. I flagged her down as she came over that mountain.”
They actually met on the Internet, but the retired Army veteran likes a good joke. Patterson enlisted in the Army in 1956, completing tours in Vietnam and Korea. He was a career soldier, spending 20 years in the military. A transport operator, the nearly 70-year Newton resident was in charge of transporting supplies, personnel, cargo, “you name it,” he said. When he wasn’t unloading ships in Vietnam or operating a train in Korea, he was in the office keeping track of the inventory that was distributed. As support personnel, Patterson’s job was vital.
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