ALTON | Forging a career serving our country takes ambition, determination and adaptability. Bill Bostedo demonstrated all of those traits over a military career spanning 24 years.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Bostedo came from a family lineage of military service. His father served in World War II and his grandfather served in World War I.
After graduating from high school, he worked for several years at an electronics company, going to night school to develop his technical skills. At the age of 23, Bostedo enlisted in the Air Force.
His career with the Air Force would take him all across the United States as well as Asia. He relocated eight times, learning new skills as technology and the military evolved over time.
After completing basic training in San Antonio, Bostedo was assigned to Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. There, he received extensive training on aircraft electronic navigation systems. That training would prove to be the foundation of his career for many years.
He was subsequently deployed to Air Force Bases in Virginia, Ohio and New York over the years, where he worked on C-130 and C-119 gunships as well as KC-135 tankers and B-52 bombers. His job included maintaining search radar, instrument landing systems and systems that identified aircraft to control facilities as being friend or foe of the military.
In 1967, he was deployed to Thailand, where he maintained B-52s and KC-135s for bombing missions in Vietnam.
“The work there was 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he says.
Ongoing training was required as the technology evolved over the course of his career.
“We took correspondence courses, but a lot of it was simply on-the-job training,” he explains.
Bostedo returned to the States and spent two years maintaining aircraft navigation systems at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Kansas City, rising to the rank of master sergeant. His career took another direction when he became a military recruiter in 1972 in St. Joseph, Mo.
Bostedo excelled at recruiting and won numerous awards over the next five years in his post in St. Joseph. He moved to Kansas City, where he was involved in advertising and promotions for recruiting, again winning many awards on the job.
After retiring from the military in 1989, he moved to Peoria. When his wife’s job was transferred in 1993, he came to Alton with her. In this area, Bostedo worked in sales positions, eventually managing the St. Louis office for a company that sold security systems. He retired from his post-military career in 2009.
At the age of 72, Bostedo is still active. He lives in Fosterburg with his wife of 49 years, Joanne. They have a daughter in Tucson, Ariz., and a daughter in Peoria. They have three grandsons and one granddaughter.
With the world evolving at an increasingly rapid pace, the need to train and adapt becomes more important every day. Over a career spanning multiple occupations in both the military and civilian arenas, Bill Bostedo has exemplified the adaptability and determination that results in success in any field.