Local resident Clinton Buckhall Jr. has pieced together a tapestry of volunteer experiences with roots that were established upon his enlistment in the Missouri National Guard.
And whether he is working with the American Red Cross or assisting members of his church's congregation, the retired military officer has never misplaced the enchantment found through selfless service to others.
Born and raised in the St. Louis area, Buckhall graduated from O'Fallon Technical High School in 1968.
"It was the newest and most high-tech school in the district," stated Buckhall, "and I had to take a test to qualify for attendance.
"With a focus on vocational training, I learned trades such as plumbing, pipefitting and blueprint reading while going to school."
During his senior year, the young student began working part-time for a local construction company.
"Some of the master plumbers couldn't read the blueprints for the projects we were working on," Buckhall said. "With the training I had received in high school, I was able to show them how to do so."
After graduation, Buckhall dreamed of a career as a contractor with his recently learned vocational skills. To this end, he attempted to become an apprentice with a St. Louis-based union.
"I took the test twice and passed, but was not accepted due to some of the racial issues present during that time," Buckhall said.
Not to be discouraged, the aspiring youth decided to follow his interests by attending college in order to receive the training necessary to become a contractor.