The Postal Service’s release of a stamp honoring former President George H.W. Bush in June brought back a lot of memories for one retail associate in Maricopa, AZ.
Bush, who served as the 41st president from 1989-1993, died last fall at age 94.
During his time in office, Randall “Buck” Brawner was serving in the U.S. Air Force and was detailed to do special missions for Air Force One.
Brawner was responsible for tracking and escorting dignitaries on and off the iconic 747. He saw many high-profile members of the Bush administration, including Chief of Staff John Sununu, Secretary of State James Baker and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.
He also interacted with first lady Barbara Bush.
“Sometimes I had to remind her the plane was getting ready to leave so she could get on it,” Brawner said. “Of course, the plane wasn’t going to take off without her.”
One of the greatest joys he had during his time working on Air Force One was speaking with the president.
“I talked to [him] a few times,” Brawner said. “He was a pretty nice guy. He talked a lot about baseball. He loved baseball. He was also a big golfer, and I love golf, too.”
Brawner retired from the Air Force after 21 years. Three years later, he applied for a job with the Postal Service and found himself behind the counter helping customers at the Post Office in Maricopa, which was experiencing rapid growth at the time.
“Back then, people would come in and ask for their mail,” he said. “I’d ask them what street they lived on, and they didn’t know. Mailboxes weren’t even up yet and customers wanted their mail.”
As for the Bush stamp, Brawner said he’s “glad to see it,” and he bought a pane for himself to remind him of his days working on Air Force One.