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Ann got emotional seeing her photo again

Featured Article

Honoring Our Heroes

Five Local Veterans Reflect On Their Lives and Love of Country

Article by Caroline Heiberg

Photography by Jessi Edison

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

On Independence Day, we celebrate those who served. Five local heroes who represent different branches and specialized in different trades shared their stories of military careers that spanned the globe and the years. They are brought together today at Franklin Park Boerne where they are united by shared virtues, service, dedication, and love of country. 

Ann Scardina, USAF
Ann Scardina served in the U.S. Air Force as a dedicated and passionate operating room nurse for nearly twenty years. She teases that she chose the Air Force because they have the best uniforms; there is nothing quite like the sharp blue, especially compared to that “ole’ Army green.” It was a work-hard, play-hard atmosphere where Scardina and her colleagues were passionate about taking care of the troops. “The gals who didn’t do it didn’t know what they were missing!” Scardina’s joy for her life’s work is equally as rare as it is infectious, “I wouldn’t have given up the Air Force for anything!”

Clyde Allen, USA
Clyde Allen is a highly animated and comedic veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958. Allen was a draftee and his enlistment began immediately after school. With a “diploma in one hand and induction in the other,” he spent time in Heidelberg, Germany. He and his wife were married in the brief days before leaving. The years Allen served as an Order of Battle Analyst in the intelligence division were marked by a time of relative peace and they were able to travel Europe in their car during their time abroad, what he calls “a military-style honeymoon.” His primary responsibility was to keep track of enemy positions and to be aware of specific movements. He recalls the intelligence division used a pinboard to mark locations relayed by spies. After the Army, Allen was dedicated to a family business in Kingsville. He has since had three daughters and continues to make everyone around him laugh, including his wife, Judy. 

B.J. Burton, USN
B.J. Burton began his experience in the U.S. Navy in Corpus Christi in 1954. As a hospital corpsman, Burton sailed aboard the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Rochester up the Pacific coast of California to San Francisco Bay. In the Bay Area, he worked in a naval hospital as one of the few who could operate a Smith typewriter. During his service, he worked with a four-star general. As a civilian home in Texas, Burton enjoyed his career with the State Board of Insurance. 

Richard Fink, USAF
Richard “Rick” Fink served in the Air Force from 1955 to 1986 through the Cold War. “We call him ‘The Colonel’!” his friend “Mack” calls out (more on him in a minute). Fink studied at Union College and received an MBA from George Washington University. He was promoted to colonel in 1978, working as Chief of the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program for over 100 bases. In this role, he established programs to keep servicemembers at peak performance and made multiple visits to the Pentagon. Settling in San Antonio after military retirement, Fink earned an additional master's degree in gerontology and spent ten years as an administrator for The Forum at Lincoln Heights, bringing a memory care program to their facility. Multiple family members followed in his footsteps of military service. 

Charles McEwen, USN
Charles “Mack” McEwen served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946. Simultaneously studying and training, McEwen entered the V-12 program at the University of Pennsylvania, a course designed to meet the demand for commissioned officers during World War II. Upon completion, McEwen became a Navy line officer in 1944, sailing aboard the destroyer escort Edward Allen. This small, lightweight surface ship could cruise at high speeds with a smaller crew. The ship followed a “picket line” route, beginning in Miami and sailing south in the Atlantic creating a protective border. McEwen’s role was in the intelligence command center. His daily work required quick, advanced trigonometry skills that enabled the Edward Allen to reload and relaunch every 20 seconds. The loss of McEwen’s older brother in the war prompted him to return to civilian life. He continued his studies at Penn after the war, where just rooms away, the world’s first general-purpose computer was developed, so McEwen followed the Navy with a long career at IBM. 

Franklin Park Boerne

Franklin Park Boerne is an assisted living and memory care community serving seniors in the Hill Country region. The community is grounded in the belief that residents and their families should feel at home from the moment they set foot on campus. Smiling faces, warm environments, and open arms welcome each person every time.

The facility is located just minutes from Boerne City Park and offers every amenity a resident could want. From the bustling activity center and game room to the fitness center and walking club, residents can stay active and healthy. And with a dedicated memory care team, those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia enjoy supportive environments that support their growth and independence.

As a family-owned and operated company, Franklin Park Boerne leaders and staff seek to make a lasting difference in the lives of each resident and their family. Values of care, compassion, and friendship are the foundation of neighborhood life and weave the community together.

Scardina’s joy for her life’s work is equally as rare as it is infectious, “I wouldn’t have given up the Air Force for anything!”

  • Clyde Allen
  • Charles McEwen
  • Richard Fink
  • Richard Fink
  • Ann got emotional seeing her photo again
  • B.J. Burton
  • Ann Scardina