WARSAW – Charles F. Hartman, Warsaw, known to his friends as “Bub,” is the April Veteran of the Month
He was born Sept. 3, 1938 to Fred and Charlene Hartman at Murphy Medical Center, Warsaw. Hartman grew up in Warsaw and attended Warsaw Community High School.
After graduating high school, he worked several odd jobs around the county, including reading meters for the water company, working in the automotive department at Sears and doing pickups and deliveries for Warsaw Laundry.
His neighbor, who was a master sergeant in the Air Force, encouraged him to enlist in the military. Hartman decided it was time to expand his horizons a bit so he signed up and was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for basic training.
After approximately ten weeks of training, Hartman was sent to Lockbourne AFB in Columbus, Ohio. The name of the air force base was later changed to Rickenbacker AFB. This base was part of the Strategic Air Command and is now part of the Tactical Air Command.
Hartman was assigned to the 801st civil engineering squadron – more specifically, to the plumbing section.
“I know what you’re thinking – that I had a crappy job,” Hartman quipped, “but it honestly was not that bad.”
Hartman continued learning and eventually helped out with heating, electric, air conditioning, high wire electrics, painting and roads & grounds. During this time he was promoted to Airman second class.
Hartman was approached and asked if he wanted to work in the emergency night duty section, which consisted of working from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. Hartman agreed, handling all base emergency calls with the other members of what he described as, “a tight knit team.” Eventually Hartman was promoted to Airman first class. During his time in the service, Hartman received an Expert Rifleman award and a Good Conduct medal.
After his honorable discharge from the service in September 1965, Hartman attended college at Ferris State, obtaining a degree in refrigeration, heating and air conditioning. He was offered a job working for Carrier AC Company in Chicago, Ill., which he accepted.
Later on he worked for Shakey’s Pizza in Oak Lawn, Ill., where he met Erin, who later became his wife. The couple married in 1969.
Hartman and his wife became friends with a couple who lived in Riverdale, Ill. The husband was a Riverdale police officer who asked Hartman if he had ever had any desire to become a policeman, which led to Hartman becoming a police officer.
Hartman spent four years with the Riverdale Police Department, five years with the Flossmoor, Ill. Police Department and 20 years with the Homewood, Ill. Police Department. He retired from the Homewood Police Department in 1998.
After retiring, Hartman moved back to Warsaw where he now spends his time hunting, fishing, doing yard work and searching for mushrooms. He is a member of the American Legion Post 49, Warsaw, and is a member of the post military funeral firing detail.
Hartman has an older sister and younger brother who both live in Bloomington. His daughter, Amy, and son-in-law, Jeff, reside in St. John. Hartmans’s son, Jeff, and daughter-in-law, Mary Ann, reside in Federal Way, Wash. Hartman has five grandchildren.
Hartman says he treasures the time he spent in the service and if he could go back in time he wouldn’t change the time he spent in the Air Force.