By Pvt. Huey Delany
Defense Information School
Glenn H. Bulaon, a shuttle bus driver for Skookum Contract Services, and other DINFOS bus drivers make a special point of taking care of the students who ride their buses. Bulaon frequently points out places of interest on Fort Meade.
Glenn H. Bulaon, a shuttle bus driver for Skookum Contract Services, prepares to board passengers onto a shuttle bus at Fort Meade on March 21. Bulaon has been driving the shuttle bus for the Defense Information School here since 2010, and he says he enjoys driving for the students because it bring him a sense of purpose.
At 10:57 a.m. on an early spring day, a warm breeze and the soft sound of country music can be heard on Fort Meade’s Defense Information School shuttle bus.
Three junior enlisted service members wait in the front of the bus as they’re driven to their appointments. They watch as the driver of the shuttle bus waves and greets the people they drive past.
Glenn H. Bulaon, a shuttle bus driver for Skookum Contract Services on Fort Meade, talks to the young service members about everything from improving their weapon qualification scores to places on post he thought might interest them.
When it comes to talking about the places and things that young service members might need, Bulaon said that those conversations are the ones he enjoys.
“I just want to help y’all out any way I can,” said Bulaon. “It’s fulfilling to help y’all get done what you need to do.”
Whether it’s getting students to where they need to go, or giving them the support they need, the DINFOS shuttle bus drivers are dedicated to serving the DINFOS service members.
Jessica Shuck, another driver for the DINFOS shuttle bus, said that, like Bulaon, she also enjoys the conversations she has with young service members on the shuttle. She said she enjoys bringing the DINFOS students where they need to go.
Shuck used to teach potential drivers how to drive buses and shuttles before she worked on Fort Meade. Before that, the passengers she used to pick up were typically younger than the DINFOS trainees.
Shuck said she didn’t know how she was going to feel when she went from teaching how to drive to driving passengers again. But after working and having conversations with students on the shuttle bus, she said that the students at DINFOS help to make her job that much better.
“It’s a lot different because of how respectful y’all are,” said Shuck.
But Shuck said that what she truly enjoys is helping out the students whom she considers to be “lost.”
Students sometimes come to DINFOS directly from their branches’ initial military training. Shuck said that most of the time, when they first get here, students do not know where to go on post. On occasion, Shuck thinks that students come onto the bus just because they’re too stressed from training.
She said that most of the time the students just need someone to talk to. She thinks most service members whom she has conversations with either miss their homes, their loved ones or home-cooked meals. She tries to make it easier for them when they ride the shuttle bus.
“It’s nice to be able to help,” said Shuck. “I picture being y’all’s age, and trying to come to a new place and be away from home. I can imagine how that must feel.”
Before Bulaon drove buses, he wanted to join the military, but he couldn't because of a pre-existing medical condition. Bulaon has been driving buses since 1977 when he was in college. After that, he spent 17 years driving a shuttle for his church’s Sunday school on Wednesdays and Sundays before working at Fort Meade.
When Bulaon picks up students who have to rush to their appointments, he makes sure to pick them up again after the appointments and bring them to whatever specific place on his route they need to go.
Bulaon wants to do whatever he can to help the service members on base. He said that his experience with the military showed him that the military asks a lot of its people. Bulaon works to make their lives easier.
“You guys are the reason that I chose this job,” Bulaon said. “That’s why you see me wave to all the soldiers because I appreciate what you all do. I couldn’t serve, so I help you all out because you serve for us.”