Meet the Veterans: Belinda Clapp
UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team and are proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series highlights some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB. Be sure to check out the other profiles in our series.
Tell us about yourself
I was born and raised in Kansas City, and later Grandview, Mo., when I was a teenager. My first job was as a server at Ponderosa in Truman Corners and then McDonald’s. I am also a proud member of my church’s praise dance team. Family and the love of family is most important to me, and I believe learning new things is key to life and not avoiding boredom.
Tell us about your family
I’m happily married to a wonderful man I met in basic training in Biloxi, Miss, in 1981. We lost touch with each other for at least 25 years until technology led him to search for me. He found me in 2004 and we were married in 2008. We have a blended family; I have four children, and he has five. We are very proud parents of each and every one. I have eight grandkids and one on the way. I have six brothers and sisters, 12 nieces and nephews and 10 great nieces and nephews.
And to make things interesting during baseball and football season, we have a house divided. My husband is from Baltimore, so that means we have issues (especially the loser) when our teams play each other!
Why did you join the military?
I chose the military because I was slightly rebellious at the ripe age of 18 and wanted to make this decision on my own instead of having my parents tell me what to do. I hoped they would be proud of me. Also, I participated in the Buddy Program where I got to attend Basic Training with a friend. My other motivation was to cross train for other jobs after my Reserve Duty.
My uncle was a Colonel in the Air Force and working in the Pentagon as an engineer. My admiration for him influenced some of the decisions I had to make about going full time. I felt joining the military would be a life-long experience.
What are some highlights from your time in the Air Force?
Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio was amazing. I will never forget my time there—getting up at 5 a.m., eating breakfast in a hurry, getting yelled at by a training instructor for laughing in ranks, my one mile run in order to pass the physical part of our training, my duties of sweeping the stairs in the barracks and the dust giving me a bad cough, wearing military cat glasses because you couldn’t wear your own, marching everywhere, all kinds of weather…this list could go on even longer.
When I got home after training at my Tech School in Biloxi as administrative support staff personnel, I worked with the commander for my unit at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Belton, Mo. –the 442nd Tactical Airlift Wing which has now changed to the 442nd Fighter Wing and moved to Whiteman Air Force Base.
During my six-year career as administrative support, part of my duties were to type up everyone’s orders to travel to other bases when it came time for our two-week duty each year. I was able to fly on one of our C-130 Airlift Planes which can be used also as a Medevac plane for patients.
What are your favorite ways to spend a weekend?
Roller skating is a family tradition—all my children were taught how to skate at the age of two and that now carries on to the grandkids. I also enjoy reading, spending time with my husband, finding something new to do in Kansas City and participating in social and church functions.
Where do you like to travel?
Right now it is Baltimore, Md. It’s my favorite because I still haven’t seen everything. I’m still excited every time I get a chance to go back.
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