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Brion Ockenfels, 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs specialist, pictured with a photo of Lauren-Ashley Morton, the young girl he donated bone marrow to in 2005. Mr. Ockenfels said Lauren-Ashley was his “special forces girl.” “She was strong, really, really strong,” he said. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright) Marrow donors provide precious chances
Chances? When you're an 11-year-old girl dying of acute myeloid leukemia, chances are like branches extended as you're being swept downstream in a torrent, or a foothold on a treacherous climb. For many people, the best chance to live through leukemia comes in the form of a marrow transplant from a genetically matched donor. A small Department of
0 3/18
2010
Retired Lt. Col. Larry Bunting, the U.K. AWACs program manager for the 552nd Air Control Wing, and his son, Senior Airman Samuel Bunting, 552nd Operations Group, are the third and fourth generations of their family to serve in the military. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright) Father and son legacy leaving its mark on the 552nd Air Control Wing
Add up all the years the Bunting family has served in the U.S. military and the number comes out to 57. When Senior Airman Samuel Bunting enlisted into active duty in the fall of 2007, he became the fourth-generation member of his family to serve in the military to include his great grandfather, grandfather, uncle and father. Airman Bunting's great
0 3/18
2010
Retired Senior Master Sgt. William “Pete” Piazza, center, a former Air Force Security Forces member, makes a midnight visit to Tinker Airmen safeguarding the base. Sergeant Piazza and other former cops want the Airmen to know they are not alone.(Air Force photo by John Stuart)
The pride behind the badge
Ten grenade explosions reverberated through the night air as a group of Airmen fiercely defended their posts against the incoming North Vietnamese Army forces. Sergeant William "Pete" Piazza peered around a wall of Bunker 10 inside Bien Hoa Air Base at the enemy position some 200 yards away. The attackers had overtaken a perimeter sandbag bunker
0 2/26
2010
After speaking during a 2007 POW/MIA event at the memorial in the Tinker air park, retired Air Force Col. Leroy Stutz cradles a flag given to him. After being shot down during the Vietnam War, he was held as a prisoner of war for six years and recently spoke to the Airman Leadership School graduating class about his experiences. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright) Living the Code: Former POW shares tale with ALS class
Lt. Leroy Stutz wanted a closer look at the camouflaged railroad tracks and railway cars hidden nearby. As pilot of a reconnaissance RF-4 Phantom, it was his job to get down low, go fast and look for targets.Just 75 feet above ground at a speed of 660 knots, Lieutenant Stutz "stayed in a turn just a little too long," allowing anti-aircraft gunners
0 2/19
2010
Tinker Nordiques Louie Lomonaco is a torrent on the ice. The soft-spoken defenseman is a major contributor for the Nordiques, and has a long personal history with the game, which he contributes to his hockey-savvy dad. Ice in their veins: Father, son share love of hockey playing on Tinker teams
Louie Lomonaco can't remember a time before hockey was in his life. There was only ever the crisp slicing of sharpened blades across ice. There was only ever an angled stick gripped by his padded hands. So depending on whom you talk to, the best place to learn the ways of hockey in North American is Canada. While Lomonaco didn't have this Maple
0 2/19
2010
Quality assurance evaluators with the 72nd Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Supply Quality Flight watch warehouse specialist Tom Thomas demonstrate a gas mask inspection that’s performed on a random sampling every six months. QAEs from left are George Eastling, Candy McDonald and John Sullivan.  (Air Force photo by Margo Wright) Evaluators keep track of inventory
If George Eastling, Candy McDonald and John Sullivan are easily overwhelmed, they hide it well. As quality assurance evaluators assigned to the 72nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, they are responsible for the inventory of thousands of deployment, munitions and base supplies. Their experience ranges from rookie to 33 years on the job, and their
0 2/11
2010
Tinker’s new Caring for People coordinator Charlotte “Charlie” Lewis discusses the upcoming DePLAYment program with Tech. Sgt. Keith Scott, NCOIC of Readiness at Tinker’s Airman and Family Readiness Center.  Ms. Lewis’ life as a military spouse fuels her enthusiasm about making sure families know about available help, but especially when a loved one is deployed. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)
‘Caring for People’ is in her newly-minted job description
Charlotte "Charlie" Lewis knows her subject well. Recently hired in the newly created Air Force position, Caring for People coordinator, she's lived the job first-hand and said she is excited about the programs available to her customers.After a "Caring for People" forum was held in Washington, D.C., in April 2009, Air Force officials decided it
0 2/05
2010
Lt. Col. Gerard "Killer" Kolaski, air battle manager on an E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control aircraft from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., steps off an E-3 Sentry after completing his final combat mission Jan. 9, 2010, at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia.  Colonel Kolaski was retiring after a 28-year career in the Air Force and has nearly 70 combat missions in the E-3.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol/Released) ‘Killer’ mission
It's late-night on Jan. 9 and an E-3 Sentry comes into view to dozens of Airmen gathered on the flightline at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. After a 13.4-hour mission over the U.S. Central Command theater of operations performing surveillance of enemy forces, the tires of the airborne warning and control aircraft make contact with the
0 2/01
2010
Long-time Tinker bowler Merle Norman takes a look down the lane at the Tinker Bowling Alley recently. Norman has several 300 games and 800 series to his name and is part of the tight-knit bowling community on base.(Air Force photo by Margo Wright)
Tinker bowlers live life between the gutters
Karl Dooley lines up several feet in front of the foul line and purposefully thinks about nothing. There's cacophony in the background, a veritable din of crashes and unintelligible conversations. But at the foul line there's an invisible bubble of silence, created by sheer force of will. In the bubble there is no time. There is only the open lane.
0 2/01
2010
Robert Freese, center, tells James Bement the story behind the etchings in his canteen cup. During World War II, Mr. Freese etched the names of all the places he saw during his combat tour. Mr. Bement recently wrote a book from the perspective of the 93-year-old veteran and his wife, Leona, drawing on their wartime correspondence.(Air Force photo by Howdy Stout)
A story untold: Tinker man’s passion for history leads him to write about World War II survivor, battle
Everybody has a story to tell. But James Bement, senior intelligence officer for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, didn't think he would be the one telling it.Mr. Bement's book, "Baseball, Battle and a Bride (An Okie in World War II)," tells the story of Robert Freese, an Oklahoma City native drafted a month after Pearl Harbor and seeing
0 1/22
2010
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