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Family hitting books

Cannon Connections photo: Liliana Castillo Wendy Proctor, right, her son Matthew Pringle and daughter Veronica Proctor gather around the table for study time at their Clovis home.

The Proctor family is on a mission and they know something about missions.

Tech. Sgt. Robert Proctor is active duty military and his wife Wendy Proctor served 20 years in the Air Force. When the family of eight found out that Proctor got orders to Cannon Air Force Base in March, they jumped from surprise to the planning stage.

The family decided to take advantage of their assignment to Cannon.

“Let’s be honest, some people have a little beef about being stationed here,” Proctor said. “At Travis (Air Force Base), there were real city things right outside the gate. Here, things are centralized around the base and everything changes for you.”

The family adopted a positive attitude. Wendy Proctor found a school for their youngest, she had previously been homeschooling, and she and son Matthew are going to college under the new GI Bill.

“Here, everyone is benefiting beyond the ‘Cali’ experience,” Robert Proctor said. “Instead of coming here boohooing, we decided to have a plan.”

The biggest downside of the move is that the close family decided to split. Wendy Proctor, Robert Proctor, Matthew Pringle and Veronica Sixx Proctor moved to Clovis and four of their children stayed in California.

“That’s the hard part,” Wendy Proctor said.

The four children that stayed are in high school or older, so Wendy Proctor decided they were old enough to be on their own.

Wendy Proctor spent 20 years in the Air Force and the couple decided it would be easier for the two to retire at separate times. She worked on communications equipment after scoring high in electronics.

“It was a high-pressure job sometimes. It was nice to have a break, not to be on stand by,” she said.

Wendy Proctor’s original interest in nursing returned after she retired and she’s working toward her registered nursing degree at Clovis Community College.

“I like to work with and help people,” she said. “I wanted to do more human stuff instead of machine stuff.”

Wendy Proctor and her 21-year-old son Matthew Pringle attend classes at CCC together. Pringle is working toward a chemistry degree. Robert Proctor is studying to test out of certain subjects and for master sergeant. Having three members of the family that need to study makes it easier for the family.

“We have an understanding that this is what I need to do right now,” Wendy Proctor said.

Pringle said studying brings the family together. He said studying in Clovis is easier than studying in California.

“I like it here better than in California. No distractions,” he said.

Robert Proctor agreed.

“It’s all about ‘me’ in California. Here, there’s a motive for everything. It’s the opposite in California,” Proctor said.