At an age when some people think of retiring from the military, Vince Simoncini started serving.
He joined the District of Columbia Air National Guard a week shy of his 47th birthday. Seven years later, he’s a lieutenant colonel, tending to eye care at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
He learned of the position through an old boss and jumped at the chance to give back to his country. “All these people serve and I should, too,” he said. “It’s my small contribution.”
One weekend a month and an additional week or two a year, he provides vision screenings -- assessing the medical readiness of troops to deploy. As chief of aerospace optometry, he also performs fittings for safety eyewear and gas mask inserts.
“I love the people and being part of a big team,” he said. “(At my practice) I’m a big fish in a small pond. There, I’m a little fish in a big, big pond.”
But giving back doesn’t stop when he leaves the base. He contributes to several local charities and plans to expand his efforts.
“I’d love to get even more involved.”