JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska, June 2, 2017 — Air Force Airman 1st Class Lukas Johnson joined the Air Force to save lives. He thought he could pursue his calling sealed snugly inside a bomb suit, defusing improvised explosive devices as an explosive ordnance disposal technician.
Air Force Airman 1st Class Lukas Johnson, an aircraft structural maintenance technician with the 3rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, works with a C-130 Hercules leading-edge training aid April 20, 2017. The Phoenix native works to prevent aircraft corrosion, which can compromise an aircraft's structure. Air Force photo by David Bedard
Air Force Airman 1st Class Lukas Johnson, an aircraft structural maintenance technician with the 3rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, works with a C-130 Hercules leading-edge training aid April 20, 2017. The Phoenix native works to prevent aircraft corrosion, which can compromise an aircraft's structure. Air Force photo by David Bedard EOD was the job listed on his original enlistment contract, but the Phoenix native was disqualified during medical screening.
Fortunately for the 3rd Maintenance Squadron airman assigned here, he found his calling in aircraft structural maintenance, a career field charged with maintaining and repairing the sheet metal, tubing and composites that make up an aircraft fuselage.
Instead of saving lives by manually detonating artillery rounds strung together on the side of a road, Johnson defuses structural problems that could cause a catastrophic failure in flight.
LEMSON, SC, May 25, 2017 -
Story by Staff Sgt. Ken Scar
335th Signal Command (Theater)
Volunteers gathered in Clemson University's Memorial Park Thursday, May 25 to place 489 flags on the Scroll of Honor - one for every Clemson alumnus who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country - in preparation for Memorial Day observances.
The Scroll of Honor is grass-topped barrow ringed with stones engraved with the names of each Clemson alumnus who gave their lives in service to their country. It sits in Memorial Park, which is located across the street from the Clemson Tigers' 81,000-seat Memorial Stadium. To date, 491 alumni have been identified who were killed from WWI through the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
By Air Force Senior Airman Cynthia Innocenti
379th Air Expeditionary Wing
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar, March 10, 2017 — The sky casts a grey haze, damp concrete calmly reflects ramp lights in the distance, and a light mist dampens the sage uniform worn by Air Force Senior Airman Sylvia Feigum as she illuminates the orange marshaling wands in her hands.
After she crosses her arms above her head signaling the aircraft to stop, Feigum walks swiftly to the exit door of the plane.
Feigum, a combat oriented supply organization journeyman with the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron, is responsible for coordinating supply requests for C-17 Globemaster III aircraft maintenance and also maintains mobility readiness spares packages containing high-demand and critical aircraft parts for the C-17 and C-5 Galaxy aircraft here.
Since arriving, Feigum has also volunteered to step outside of her primary career field to learn and execute aircraft marshalling, or visual communication with aircraft.
Taking on this extra duty would hold extra significance to her on one day in particular when she had the opportunity to direct a Boeing 777-200 aircraft carrying her husband, Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Feigum, a combat crew communications journeyman with the 816th Expeditionary Air Lift Squadron.
WASHINGTON - Saint Silver is considered a disabled veteran. Post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep apnea, and diabetes related to Agent Orange exposure have affected him since he served in Vietnam. But he doesn't look back in anger. He looks back with appreciation for the service.
In fact, he said, serving in the Army was the best thing that happened to him."Being in Vietnam, you can't forget it. It's something that stays with you for the rest of your life, Silver said. "Being a veteran is the best thing that happened to me. He's grateful that he was able to serve his country, he said. "I think that every young man, when he turns 18, should be obligated to serve the country, he said. "I think we'd have less crime, less killing one-on-one. The military gives you some stability, and you learn to grow up and be a man. The Henderson, N.C., resident said serving in the Army helped to shape him as an adult, and his service abroad taught him to appreciate the things some take for granted in the United States. "Once you get back home, you realize how much you love our country, and how much freedom you have in a democracy versus communism over there, where you're told what to do and when to do it, Silver said. Silver served as a clerk in the Army from 1968 to 1971, though he said he never worked in his specialty. Instead, he was a utility supervisor, advising Vietnamese in the Mekong Delta, where he never thought he'd end up. "They told me I passed the physical in January, and I'd be drafted the next month, Silver said. "So I volunteered, thinking I'd miss Vietnam. But right after [specialty training], I went straight over to Vietnam. Vietnam was a good cause, Silver said, and the lessons learned there should be kept in mind when considering drawdowns and missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said he believes the United States pulled out of Vietnam too soon, resulting in continued problems for the Vietnamese people. "If we do like we did in Vietnam, leaving before the job is finished, other countries will think they can't depend on us, he said. "If you consider yourself an ally of another country, you should be able to stay and help them through what they're going through before you leave. Americans never really lost the war over there. It was the counterparts that lost. We didn't lose. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan shouldn't deter people considering military service today, Silver said. The benefits, both tangible and invisible, outweigh the risks of combat, he added. "Once I got out, I wish I had stayed in, he said. "Where can you go and get 30 vacation days a year? You get hospitalization, and you don't have to worry about it. Plus, it makes you grow up. You get a skill. After 20 years you can retire to another job. It has so many opportunities, and positives, in spite of the war. All young people don't think that way, he acknowledged. "But as you get older, you realize all of the things you missed by not staying in, he added. ("Veterans' Reflections is a collection of stories of men and women who served their country in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and the present-day conflicts. They will be posted throughout November in honor of Veterans Day.) Nov. 20, 2010: By Ian Graham- Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity