Currently a budget analyst for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retired Technical Sergeant Linder L. Jines served in the 440th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserves for 21 years. She retired in 2007 when the unit relocated from its installation at the Air Reserve Station at General Mitchell International Airport to Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, NC. Her military career began in 1986, with a decision made after she and three friends viewed a military recruitment film. Of the three girls, Linder was the only one who stayed and was assigned to the 95th Aerial Port Squadron (APS) as an air cargo specialist and eventually transferred to the 34th APS unit as an air transportation specialist.
In these very physically demanding positions, Linder was responsible for loading and unloading aircraft using forklifts and other heavy loading equipment in support of troops in combat zones, on overseas bases and those involved with humanitarian missions. “Load anything, to go anywhere, at anytime” was the motto at the 34th APS.” Utilizing administrative skills, her next and less strenuous position, passenger services technician, involved checking passengers (troops) and baggage onto military aircraft.
While at the 440th, Linder volunteered as a Base Honor/Color Guard member. She marched in parades for July 4th, Veterans Day and Memorial Day celebrations; performed honors at military funerals (including folding and presenting flags to families of lost loved ones); fired rifles for 21 gun salutes; and stood guard for fallen comrades until they reached their final resting places. As a civilian, Linder volunteered for the Convergence Resources Center, assisting female survivors of human trafficking.
Upon reflection, the main skill Linder said she learned from the military is teamwork. “Learning teamwork skills assisted throughout my education and professional career paths. I believe teamwork is vital in our community and to the lives of our children.” If the 440th had not relocated to North Carolina, she believes she would most likely still be working there.
During her formative years, the Milwaukee native attended 9th Street School, Roosevelt Middle School, and in 1983 graduated from Bradley Trade and Technical High School. Linder began her civilian career path working for the federal government at the Defense Logistics Agency, then transferred to the 440th Airlift Wing working in the accounting and finance department. After the 440th closed, Linder enrolled in the University of Phoenix and earned a bachelor of science degree in management in 2009 and a master of business administration degree in 2013.
Motivated by God and family, Linder’s meditation, “God gives grace to the humble,” guides her as an active member of New Testament Church of Milwaukee. She has served in the bookstore and usher ministries and currently volunteers in the sound and media ministry. Her solid religious convictions are evident in her statement, “I believe God is my source of everything and nothing would be possible without Him.”
Linder is a single mom and her daughter, Lindsay L. Jines, is her number one supporter. “I always tell my daughter that the next generation should do better than the one before.” Linder is well on her way to fulfilling her desired legacy by demonstrating another belief: “No matter how or where one begins or comes from, all things are possible.”
As the youngest of 11 children, Linder was the first in her family to earn advanced college degrees, obviously influenced by the values of her now-deceased parents. Her father, Frank Jines Sr., a very humble man, died when Linder was 16 and her mother, Bertha Lee Jines, a strong and proud woman became a single parent. Linder walks a fine line between pride and humility to manifest excellence in her own life.