Don Hull works what many might consider a thankless job. It’s also a payless one, too.
For almost two years, the 80-year-old Saks resident has worked one eight-hour shift a week as a security officer at the Calhoun County Courthouse, free of charge.
“I just like what I do, and I like the people here at the courthouse,” Hull said Thursday, taking a short break away from the front doors of the courthouse, where for one day every week, he checks everyone who comes in the building.
“I just like coming and talking to folks,” Hull said. “They treat me nice here.”
Hull has been a mainstay at the courthouse for more than 15 years. Calhoun County Circuit Clerk Eli Henderson said that while serving on the Calhoun County Commission, he became friends with Hull, who as the security officer was at almost every event at the courthouse. He said earlier this year he told the 80-year-old he was a little old to be working as a sheriff’s deputy.
“And that’s when he said he was doing it for free,” Henderson said. “He told me he was just giving back, but I said, ‘You already have given back, you served your country.’”
A retired Vietnam veteran, who served two tours of duties flying a medical evacuation helicopter, Hull joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1998. He wasn’t always uncompensated for his work, but when he was asked to retire two years ago, he said he didn’t see the point in quitting.
“I told them I’m still going to come in once a week,” he said. “You don’t have to pay me. I’ll just do it.”
Hull, who was a career Army man for 30 years, said he’s always had a tough time when it comes to retiring. After a stint working at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., he asked to be stationed somewhere south. So in the mid-1990s, he ended up at Fort McClellan, where he was supposed to work one year as an adviser for the Alabama National Guard. He stretched that job for another five years. Even then, he found retirement hard.
“I just think it would be terrible not to work,” Hull said Thursday. “You got to have something to do and look forward to.”
Instead of playing golf or going on fishing trips, Hull took a job at the Sheriff’s Office after being impressed by the job of Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson.
“I really liked what the sheriff was doing, and I thought, that’s something I could do,” Hull said.
Hull said he expects to keep working once a week until at least the end of the year. After that, he isn’t sure if he’ll fully retire, finally.
“I’m just getting old,” he said Thursday. “But I’ve lived a good life. I’ve really enjoyed it.”