New Resident Mark Jones says, “If there’s a word to describe my professional career, it’s Spanish.” Why? Let me explain. Mark was born in Mineral Wells, TX, but raised in Mexico City, where both parents served in the U.S. Foreign Service. His father, however, left the Foreign Service and bought and operated a business in Mexico City, so young Mark grew up bilingual. In the meantime, future bride Bobbie was living in Albuquerque, NM, where her father, who’d served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, owned a motorcycle and motor scooter business and a racetrack.
The two met at the University of New Mexico in 1967 where Mark was the cadet corps commander of the USAF ROTC Detachment and Bobbie was the commander of the Angel Flight Drill Team They married soon after Mark’s graduation in 1968, and Mark, now an active duty Air Force officer, was assigned to the Intelligence Officer School at Lowry AFB, followed by orders to Vietnam, where he served a year at the Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon. Upon his return, they were assigned to Panama and spent three and a half happy years there, with Mark a HQ USAFSO intelligence staff officer and Bobbie working for the U.S. Army Tropic Test Center and the Army Office of the G-2.
Returning to the States for pilot training brought them to Columbus AFB, MS, and after a year of training, Mark was assigned as a KC-135 tanker pilot in the 42nd Bomb Wing, Loring AFB, ME, where daughter Jamie was born. Then the family was sent to Caracas, Venezuela, for three years, with Mark as the assistant air attaché at the U.S. Embassy, and flying the C-12. He was also accredited to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago. This was a pleasant time for Bobbie; she was able to stay home and enjoy mothering Jamie. She also studied watercolor painting and sold her work through the Venezuelan American Association of University Women Galleria.
When they returned to the D.C. area, Mark served a year at the Inter-American Defense College and on the Air Staff at the Pentagon working Foreign Military Sales in Latin America. When he was selected in 1986 to serve as the Defense and Air Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Mark again flew the C-12 and was also accredited to Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama as the Air Attaché.
While in Tegucigalpa, Bobbie served as the Community Liaison Office Coordinator, working for the Department of State. She was hired by the Defense Intelligence Agency upon returning to D.C. in January 1990. Mark returned to the Pentagon in September 1990 as director of the Air Force Office of Attaché Affairs; he retired from the Air Force in 1994 and, until 2007, worked with the CIA as an Independent Contractor.
In retirement, Mark is a docent at the National Air and Space Museum, and Bobbie, who retired from the DIA in 2006, is a volunteer for the National Park Service and an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Their daughter, Jamie, lives nearby and spent eleven years on Capitol Hill and is now the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for House Affairs. She is married to Dr. Tim Miller, Associate Dean of Students at George Washington University.