Man honored for 55 years of federal service

The highly decorated Air Force vet became a VA social worker.

He has worked as a social worker since 1983 and has been a supervisor for 12 years.

“I’m a medical social work supervisor,” Webb said. “I have accomplished something by waking up in the morning and saying I am going to work. Some veterans are not able to do that. I am happy to do it.”

Webb was raised in Kentucky as one of six siblings. His mother was a teacher and his father a preacher.

Webb, 77, has been married to Portia for 19 years and he has five children from a previous marriage.

He had an unusual start to his military career.

“I went in the Army at 16 and got caught by the basic commander, who told me to come back when I was 17 with my parents permission or when I was 21 years old,” he said. “That took me out of the Army. So I went off to the Air Force because my dad signed for me to go in.”

Webb is a highly decorated individual. He received an Air Force commendation medal in 1968 for intelligence work. This year he was inducted in the National Association of Social Workers pioneer program and also received the Lifetime Achievement Award for NASW Regional 7.

Each social worker at the VA serves about 750 to 800 veterans per year. Webb focuses on acute care, helping veterans get access to programs.

“Frank Webb is the standard for social work,” said Dave Drew, chief of social work service. “I’ve been associated with him for 33 years. He has years of quality service to veterans.”

Social-work supervisor Joseph Augustine praises Webb and his work, as well.

“Frank has helped me all these years and any time I have a question I go to him,” Augustine said. “He knows everything. He has a great energy level and enthusiasm.”

Webb plans to retire in the next nine months, but will continue working as a social worker with a home health care agency.

“I’ll probably be a social worker as long as I live,” he said.