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    National Guardsman Celebrates 40 Years of Service

    National Guardsman Celebrates 40 Years of Service

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly Calkins | U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Samuel Farley, the logistics noncommissioned officer in charge for...... read more read more

    BOLESLAWIEC, Poland – Sgt. Maj. Samuel Farley, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the logistics staff section for the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, South Carolina Army National Guard, commemorates his 40-year career, July 19, 2018, while deployed at Boleslawiec, Poland in support of Resolute Castle 2018.

    “I came in on the buddy program with a friend,” said Farley, reflecting on why he joined the Army National Guard. “I needed some structure in my life.”

    Farley joined the North Carolina Army National Guard in 1978, at the age of 18 after graduating high school. After serving 10 years in the NCARNG, he joined the SCARNG, and has served in the 218th MEB ever since.

    Farley remembers the era when he joined, post-Vietnam, with many of the Guardsmen joining to keep from going to Vietnam, he said.

    “It was a different time, a different era,” said Farley. “There were a few Soldiers that you would meet that were lifers, but now you don’t meet too many.”

    After his first 20 years of military service, one of the reasons Farley became a lifer was due to attaining a technician position with the South Carolina National Guard in 1991. Farley began his technician position as a mechanic, then became an inspector, and is currently a supervisor.

    “I was working full time and it’s one of those jobs that you have to be in the Guard to keep the job,” said Farley, who will earn double retirement for his service as a technician and a Guardsman. “This job kind of just drove me to being a lifer and by then I had built a house and had a family.”

    Farley continues in a supervisory role during RC18 by giving advice to younger Soldiers, as in those who have served less than 20 years in the Guard. However, he continues to learn new skills in his 40th year by serving as the Defense Travel System approval authority and creating and accepting contracts for RC18.

    “Look to the older guys and what they know, get what you can out of them,” said Farley in his advice to Soldiers who are early in their careers. “When I was coming along, these were the guys with all the knowledge.”

    Nancy, Farley’s wife of almost 27 years after a first date at the Salty Dog Café in Hilton Head, S.C., was able to share her own experience as a military spouse during a recent visit to see Farley in Poland.

    “When we first got married until now, the Guard has changed a lot,” said Nancy. “It’s not just one weekend a month and two weeks a year; now the Guard deploys more and with the natural disasters, Al (Farley’s nickname) is gone a lot.”

    Nancy elaborated on her experience by advising other lifer military spouses to learn to be independent and not to be afraid to ask for help.

    “We have been lucky,” said Nancy. “We had family close to help with our kids.”

    Being separated from one another during Farley’s three deployments and multiple natural disaster missions has been difficult.

    “Al being gone a lot and missing the children growing up was the hardest part,” said Nancy. “It adds up over time, at least five years of active duty time,” added Farley.

    Farley reflected on the changes in the National Guard and the most rewarding part of his 40-year career. He recounts his deployment to Afghanistan in January 2007 to August of 2008 as the most rewarding experience.

    “It was a hard mission, but it was a good mission,” said Farley. “When you deploy with someone and are around the people every day, you get to know them and miss the people when it’s over.”

    The benefits that result from a 40-year career in the National Guard, however, outweigh the difficult times and the deployments for Nancy and Farley.

    “We can retire early, have Tricare insurance, and use the surrounding military bases,” said Nancy. “I have also met him in Germany and traveled to Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and now Poland and the Czech Republic.”

    Walking through the historical square of Boleslawiec, Farley and Nancy, look forward to the opportunity of traveling together more and spending time with their granddaughter upon Farley’s retirement.



    Date Taken: 07.20.2018
    Date Posted: 07.23.2018 02:16
    Story ID: 285278
    Location: BOLESLAWIEC, PL 

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