November 8, 2023

Mobile District Employee Continues Serving after Half a Century with USACE

Chuck Walker
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In 1973, the U.S. ended its involvement in the Vietnam War by signing the Paris Peace Accords, George Foreman became the heavyweight champion of the world by knocking out Joe Frazier. Model and actress Tyra Banks was born, and artist Pablo Picasso died.

And in Mobile, Alabama, Willard Bush was beginning his career as an accountant with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District.

Fifty years is a significant milestone, and that is how long the Mobile native has been serving the District and his customers.

“I have always enjoyed the work I do; this is my dream job,” Bush said. “I have stayed so long because I enjoy my work environment, and I also enjoy the services we provide our customers.”

Bush was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, and has been married to his wife, Phyllis, for 44 years. They have four children: Willard Bush, Jr., Sharon Bush-Coaxum, M.D., Jeremy Bush and, Jonathan Bush.

He and his wife also have two grandchildren, Sarah Bush and Louis Coaxum, IV.

Bush said his family has always been an essential source of strength while serving the District.

“My family is very supportive of what I do,” Bush said. “They are always encouraging me. Whenever I am having a hard time, I can always depend on them to help me.

Willard Bush USACE
Willard Bush, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District accountant, poses for a photo at his desk, Nov. 1, 2023, at the District headquarters in Mobile, Alabama. Bush, who has been working for the District for 50 years, said that working for the District has been his dream job and a blessing. (U.S. Army photo by Chuck Walker)

Bush has also been willing to share his vast knowledge with others.

One person who benefitted from learning from Bush was Brian Ivey, Chief of Resource Management.

Ivey said Bush took him under his wing as his first supervisor when he came to work for the District.

“He spent many hours training me on many aspects of accounting,” Ivey said. “He has always been willing to share his knowledge of accounting procedures and the history of events effecting accounting data. His keen memory has been very helpful over the years to us to remember why we do what we do in the financial arena and which laws and regulations we have cited for our decisions.”

Another person who can testify to Bush’s willingness to share his knowledge and offer advice and help is Lita Trotter, supervisory accountant.

“Willard was already working with the Corps when I was hired in 1994,” Trotter said. “Over the years, he has taken the time to explain a number of functions and processes to me. I really appreciate the time he took out with me. He is always willing to share his knowledge. Whenever we are discussing complex issues and getting into a lot of details about how something should work, his favorite saying is, “That’s too much sugar for a dime.’ It always tickles me. He is very dedicated and loves his job.”

Bush’s advice to someone who wants to work with the Corps, is to remember that it is an honor to work for the government.

“First, it’s a privilege to work for your government,” Bush said. “The pay is good, and it’s a stable work environment. The work can be rewarding for one who has determination, passion for work and good work ethics.”

Bush said that overall, working for the Mobile District has been a great experience, and he loves the people he works with and his work environment. He says it has indeed been a dream job.

“I consider my career with the Corps as one great experience, and I count it as a blessing,” Bush said. “I have always loved accounting, and this is my dream job. I am pleased to have had over my career the opportunity of being surrounded by and interacting with hard-working, capable co-workers who are knowledgeable and dedicated to their work.”

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