By Angie A. Gambill
John Paul Wilson was born and raised in Johnson County, Tennessee. He says he didn’t venture very far from his hometown of Mountain City when he was growing up. An occasional family trip to Myrtle Beach was the extent of his travels.
But in 2011, when John Paul joined the United States Air Force, his entire life changed.
“I’ve seen the world with the aid of the USAF,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of traveling in my time (with them).”
John Paul is obviously pleased with his decision and feels he is accomplishing some good in the world. He may have made the decision to join the Air Force to make a difference in his own life, but he has also helped bring about positive changes in the lives of many others. He emphasizes that it’s a good feeling to have a purpose and know that your efforts are not in vain.
“My reasons for joining the military were simple. I wanted a better life, a life that I wasn’t sure I could obtain on my own without some sort of direction and structure,” said John Paul. “During my service, I have watched several countries and numerous people come and go. More often than not, I have made some difference in each of the places I have had a hand in touching. I always strive to achieve good.”
Because John Paul is currently serving in the Air Force, he is limited in what he can say about his activities in the service of his country.
“Suffice it to say, I enjoy doing my job thoroughly,” he said. “But I can’t mention what exactly it is I’ve been up to. I know my Mountain City folks will understand.”
Whether an Air Force career is in his future is not certain at this point, but for now he is well satisfied where he is.
“I plan to stay with the military as long as they need me. I will definitely stay with them until I have completed whatever task it is they set before me,” said John Paul with an air of confidence and assurance. “If my country needs me, it is my sworn duty to respond.”
Wherever his military duties may take him, however, the native Johnson Countian makes it clear where his heart is.
“One thing I always find, that no matter what I do in the military or where I may go, I always want to come home, if only for a few days, to see the mountains I called home for so many years.”
John Paul Wilson is the son of John Michael “Mike” and Deborah Ann “Debi” Wilson of Mountain City.