Sergeant First Class (SFC) Glenn W. Powell (Retired), is a native of Toledo, Ohio. He enlisted into the United States Army in 1982, and retired in 2002. During his military career, he served as a heavy vehicle driver, a squad leader, and non-commissioned officer.
In September, 1991, SFC Powell joined the George HW Bush White House as a chauffeur, and in 1992, was promoted to transportation coordinator for the white house Press Corps, serving in the Clinton Administration. In December 1995, he assumed the duties of transportation supervisor for Air Force One. In January, 2001, during his service under President George W. Bush, SFC Powell was transferred to the White House Military Office, Customer Support and Organizational Development where he served as deputy director.
SFC Powell retired with distinction from the Military in 2014. He received numerous awards and decorations throughout his service, including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the United States Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters. He received U.S. Service Ribbons for both domestic and overseas service. Glenn and Ronda Holloway Powell have been married for 25 years, and have three sons, Darius, Warren, and Glenn, II. They reside in Virginia.
BPM: How does a man go from basic training in Fort Dix, New Jersey to a prestigious career at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as a Deputy Director in the White House Military Office?
ANSWER: The journey wasn’t easy but it all boiled down to hard work, dedication, and individuals seeing your potential for success.
BPM: Entering the military at an early age can be challenging for some young people. What was your experience like and looking back would you do this all over again?
ANSWER: At first that experience was very hard. It was my first time being away from home and being in an environment that I couldn’t control. It forced me to grow up quickly and provided the additional resources and discipline that I needed to become a man. Without question, I would do it all over again.
BPM: Tell us about your new book, MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family, and Friendship.
ANSWER: The book is about my personal journey from being a teenage father in Toledo, OH. Making the hard decision to leave my son in order to provide for him. Serving my country that I hold in high regards. Finding love and building a family. Constantly leaving my family to fulfill my military obligations while serving the Office of the President, and establishing lifelong friendships.
BPM: What was it like to be in service to three American presidents?
ANSWER: It was one of the greatest honors that an individual in the military can aspire to have. It isn’t the norm for a military person to be able to serve three Presidents, due to the fact that we relocate after four years on that assignment.
BPM: Being aboard Air Force One had to be amazing! What is one of the most beautiful places you visited?
ANSWER: The first place was South Africa, where I was afforded the opportunity to go on safari, but more importantly to tour Robin Island during President Clinton’s visit, and have the pleasure of meeting Nelson Mandela. The other place was China, and being able to walk the Great Wall of China, and standing in Tiananmen Square.
BPM: What was your most interesting chapter to write in your book MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL?
ANSWER: For me, the most interesting chapter to write was Chapter 15, Second Chances. Writing this chapter allowed me to be vulnerable with how I felt during 911 and multiple health issues that I had faced.
BPM: Were there ever times you wished you could share your story with the world before writing the book?
ANSWER: Yes, there were, but because I’m such a private person and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share my story.
BPM: What made you want to become a writer? How long have you been writing?
ANSWER: I have been writing my story my whole life. Keeping notes in my head internally. I just never knew that I was a writer. It wasn’t until my cancer diagnosis, that I decided it was time to put the thoughts and feelings to paper.
BPM: How has writing MY LAST BAGGAGE CALL impacted your life?
ANSWER: It has allowed me to be more open with regards to my personal life. It has allowed me to share the upbringing that has made me what I am today.
BPM: What advice or bit of wisdom would you share with the young man leaving home for the first time seeking adventure?
ANSWER: I would say, try not to be afraid but open for opportunities that came your way. Your destiny has been pre-determined, so follow your heart.
BPM: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
ANSWER: I would view writing as an outlet, as everyone has many views on spiritual practice and I don’t want to offend anyone with my views.
BPM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned from this project?
ANSWER: The one thing that was most surprising, was finding out my family history. Everyone isn’t always able to trace their family origins.
BPM: Share one specific point in your past that is resonating with your present situation or journey.
ANSWER: To always treat others the way that you want to be treated.
BPM: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
ANSWER: It is both energizing and exhausting. It energizes me by allowing my creative juices to flow. It is exhausting because you really don’t know just how much work goes into bringing a project to life.
BPM: What are the top three things that make you feel happy and fulfilled at this point in life?
ANSWER: God allowing me to still be on this life journey. The love and support of my family and friends. Peace of mind and spirit.
BPM: What makes you forget about the world around you?
ANSWER: I’m really never able to forget the world around me, although going on vacation allows me to recharge my batteries.
BPM: What strengths did you use to achieve two major goals in life?
ANSWER: The wisdom of selfless service from my parents, and the courage to work hard to achieve my goals from my military mentors.
BPM: What other projects are you working on at the present?
ANSWER: The next project that I’m working on is gathering more historical information about my family roots in Rison, AR.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work? Is the book available on Nook and Kindle?
ANSWER: My book is available on Amazon for both Nook and Kindle. My website is under development.
BPM: Are you on social media? We would like to stay in contact with you! Share all of your social media links.
ANSWER: Yes, I’m on Facebook and messenger @Glenn W. Powell (Author), Twitter @glennwpowell1, and Instagram @glennwpowell
Purchase My Last Baggage Call Aboard Air Force One: A Journey of Sacrifice, Service, Family, and Friendship by Glenn W. Powell