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      Best friends retire together after 41 years

      Grade school friends who graduated on the same day, started working on the same day, and now retiring on the same day. Too good to be true?

      Not in Iron Mountain.

      â??Well, it's scary,â?? said Joanne Lindholm. Glad to have somebody to do it with, that Iâ??m not alone in this."

      Itâ??s a story about friendship, and a story about service.

      Childhood friends, Joanne Lindholm and Tina Freeman, are retiring Thursday. But this is no ordinary retirement. Itâ??s a celebration of two friends working in a place that is very special to them.

      â??It was family,â?? Joanne said.

      â??Yes, it was more intimate, a family,â?? added Tina.

      After graduating high school in 1971 together, they then went to work at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center on the same day, October 12, 1971.

      â??I worked in medical transcription," Lindholm said.

      "I started in the transcription unit as well,â?? Freeman added.

      And co-workers say they were a joy to work with.

      â??Tina was our program support assistant,â?? explained Lab Manger Brad Tomassucci. â??She is a loyal employee to the service and to the veterans, and she did a wonderful job in her years here.â??

      From grade school and high school to weddings and work, their attachment to each other and the VA is one that will not be easily broken.

      â??Iâ??m going to miss it a lot,â?? Lindholm said.