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In Their Own Words
Career military man retired to Dawson
Own Words - Dover pic
Arthur Dover retired from the Air Force in 1972. He moved to Dawson County with his wife 16 years ago. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

For Arthur Dover, his views on military service have remained the same for nearly six decades.

"I love my country," said Dover, who retired from the United States Air Force in 1972.

With plans to make a career of his military service, at the age of 20, Dover tried to convince his recruitment officer to let him enlist with a promise to serve 20 years.

"I tried to get him to let me enlist for 20 years to start with," said Dover, now 78 and living in Dawson County.

While his father and brothers served in the Army and Navy, Dover decided the Air Force was a better fit for him when he enlisted in 1952. Both the Korean War and the Vietnam Conflict were going on at the time.

"I thought the Air Force would be the best outfit to be with for an actual war," he said.

Dover spent more than 17 years with the Air Police and other law enforcement operations. He moved up the ranks, but in his time did not see combat.

"There was a lot going on then, but I didn't get into it," he said smiling. "I ran around with a lot of Green Berets and they showed me that I didn't need no part in it. Those guys were crazy."

Instead, he traveled across Europe and Southeast Asia before returning back to the states.

After his military retirement, Dover got a job with a company in Atlanta where he managed apartment buildings and taught trades such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry and roofing to members of the younger generation.

Sixteen years ago, he and his wife moved to Dawson County on land purchased while he was serving in Southeast Asia in anticipation of retirement.

Dover is now an active member of the Vietnam Veterans of America No. 970.

Dover said he and his fellow Vietnam vets share many of the same beliefs.

"I'm proud of my country," he said.