NPR Story
3:37 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Vietnam Vet, 71, Working As Contractor In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:04 am

You’ve not doubt heard the stories about people working past retirement age. Jeff Traylor has taken that to a new level.

He’s 71 years old, a Vietnam veteran, and he’s working with the Air Force as a contractor in Afghanistan. He’s doing it because he needed the job.

“Regardless of what they may say about age discrimination, it still exists,” Traylor tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. “I can tell it from the way that my applications were received. That’s one issue. And then I have a lot of experience and I bring a lot to the table for a company, but most of them are not willing to pay for those services and education that I’ve gained in my many, many years in the industry.”

Even though Traylor took the job in Afghanistan because of a lack of job options in the U.S., he doesn’t regret the decision.

“I am stronger and healthier and more mentally alert than I was when I got here, as a result from the exposure and what I’ve been involved in here,” Traylor says.

His message to others: “Keep working as long as you can. I think it’s vital to your mental and physical health … even if it takes you all the way to Afghanistan.”

Guest

  • Jeff Traylor, a 71-year-old American working in Afghanistan.
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