“Keep your bags packed because you never know when a door of opportunity will open for you,” said Retired Chief Master Sgt. Walter Richardson during a presentation Feb. 19 before nearly 200 airmen in Hurlburt Field’s King Auditorium. “I was home-schooled growing up in Pensacola with about 20 other little black boys and girls, and “Chappie” James’ mom would tell us that over and over, and it’s something I remembered throughout my life. Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr., in 1975 became the first black officer in American military history to achieve the rank of four-star general.
Richardson, a Tuskegee airmen, was one of 1,500 enlisted men selected to begin desegregation of the military in 1949.
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