INDEPEDENCE, Mo. –
A legacy of service that began “so long ago I don’t remember what I did,” continues today for Leslie Hobbs as he works as the digital training facility manager at the Sgt. Charles R. Long Army Reserve Center here.
Hobbs began his military service in 1959 when he left his Joplin, Missouri, hometown and headed down the road to Fort Leonard Wood for six months of training. What followed was a 33-year military career that culminated with Hobbs retiring as a lieutenant colonel. From there, he’s worked various jobs around the reserve center doing what he can to help Soldiers.
“We usually can’t keep him out of the building because he never leaves,” said Michelle Fostek, facility manager, 139th Medical Brigade. “He does more hours than he’s supposed to because he’s always trying to help the Soldiers. Even though we say the duty day ends at 2, he always stays until 4 to make sure that everything is taken care of even though that’s past his hours of working.”
That work ethic and staying until the job is finished was instilled in him from a young age and is something Hobbs credits for continuing to work today at the age of 80.
“I started working when I was a teenager, I was a farmer,” Hobbs said. “I’ve been working all my life and I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t working.”
For the Army Reserve Soldiers who drill and train at the Long Army Reserve Center, Hobbs is the computer lab man.
“The typical duties are I’m here and if somebody shows up, I help them get on the computer so they can use it, basically,” said Hobbs in his plain-spoken, straightforward way.
Hobbs is not the only one at the Long Army Reserve Center with an extensive period of service there.
“He’s been a great entity for us throughout all the years. I’ve been here for 25 years and I’ve known him the entire time myself,” Fostek said. “Mr. Hobbs has been here for quite some time. We just all keep finding ways to keep coming right back to this building.”
For Hobbs, he said the best part is, “I like being able to associate with the Soldiers.”