VSO Manager Philip Watson

Philip Watson of Inverness has been the Veterans Service Office Manager of Citrus County since 2018.

You can take the man out of Inverness, but you can’t take a fondness for Inverness out of this man.

Philip Watson, 46, a native Invernessian, strayed far from home during the 25 years he served in the Air Force, but now, he’s wound up living in his hometown, after being named Citrus County Veterans Service Office Manager in 2018.

Watson graduated from Citrus High School in 1992, then joined the Air Force in mission support at air bases in Florida, Hawaii, Wyoming, Georgia, New York, and Texas, as well as in Japan and Korea. He served in the Iraq War twice, and also spent time in such places as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

He retired from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where he was the top enlisted officer under a boss “who was in charge of things running smoothly,” Watson said.

He has a master’s degree in public administration from American Military University in West Virginia, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Leo University in Pasco County, and two associate degrees: one in logistics and one in social services, from Community College of the Air Force in Alabama.

He has a 14-year-old daughter.

Watson said he enjoys his job overseeing the county’s Veterans Service Office because “you really get to help someone out. When you’re filling out papers, you may get to help someone out of a tight spot,” he said.