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Airmen and Sailors graduate from Tinker Airman Leadership School

Airman Leadership School Class 19-A graduates.

Airman Leadership School Class 19-A graduates.

Thirty-seven Airmen and two Sailors recently graduated from Tinker’s Airman Leadership School.

Graduates are:

 

134th Civil Engineer Squadron

Senior Airman Cory Barton, Leadership Award

 

149th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman Victor Moreno

 

507th Civil Engineering Squadron

Senior Airman Rodrick Brown

       

507th Security Forces Squadron

Senior Airman Michael Hoover

 

552nd Air Control Networks Squadron

Staff Sgt. James Fenno

Senior Airman Devin Barnes 

 

552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman John Halstead

Senior Airman Alexander Sparks       

Senior Airman Leslie Schonfarber     

Senior Airman Morgan Severeid, Freedom Citation Winner

Senior Airman Joseph Fitchett

552nd Maintenance Group

Senior Airman Zachary Stolze

       

552nd Maintenance Squadron

Senior Airman Roberto Coronado      

Senior Airman David Mannel

Senior Airman Justin Stover  

Senior Airman Austin Carolin

Senior Airman Demetria Mulligan     

Senior Airman Dominique Sanchez

       

552nd Operations Support Squadron

Senior Airman Azelia Robinson        

 

72nd Comptroller Squadron

Senior Airman Pamela Yim

 

72nd Logistics Readiness Squadron

Senior Airman Chaelon Moultry

Senior Airman Andrew Beaver

 

72nd Medical Support Squadron

Senior Airman Brent Goddu  

 

72nd Security Forces Squadron

Senior Airman Blake Booth  

Senior Airman Corey Hall     

Senior Airman Justin Smith   

Senior Airman Brandon Ogden Jr.     

Senior Airman Jordan Tyndell

 

 

960th Airborne Air Control Squadron

Senior Airman Deandre Ordonez

       

963rd Airborne Air Control Squadron

Senior Airman Shayan Khan, Distinguished Graduate

Senior Airman Darren Massey

 

964th Airborne Air Control Squadron

Senior Airman Joshua Pavlik

Senior Airman Abby Washington, Academic Achievement Award, Distinguished Graduate and Sharp Image

 

965th Airborne Air Control Squadron

Senior Airman Keith Landauer,
 John L. Levitow Award

 

966th Airborne Air Control Squadron

Senior Airman Jaron Long

Senior Airman Jason Whelan

 

Air Force Sustainment Center

Senior Airman Thomas Estrada

 

Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron THREE

Petty Officer 3rd Class Tou Hue Yang

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeremiah Curtis,
Distinguished Graduate

 

Freedom Citation

Senior Airman Morgan Severeid

552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

At 18, freedom couldn’t come fast enough. Once I graduated high school, I saved up my paychecks and when I had enough for a deposit, I moved into my own apartment. Out from under the roof of strict parents, I built myself a small life.

Between my full-time factory job and two part-time service jobs, I studied education at the local branch of Indiana University. I realized quickly, despite my passion for helping others, teaching was not in the cards for me.

I felt suddenly trapped. I was trudging at a snail’s pace toward a degree that I no longer wanted to pursue, working three jobs, and yet, still feeling unable to get ahead in life. None of them were something I wanted to turn into a career, and paying for an apartment by myself made it hard to save much after my bills. I was hardly sleeping, clocking close to 75 hours a week, feeling like I was going nowhere. At 19, I was at a crossroads; freedom felt out of reach.

About a year after I graduated, I felt myself running out of steam. I dropped by a friend’s house for a brief visit between work and class, and I was talking to her father about how run-down I felt when he suggested that I look into the military. He had served four years in the Air Force in the mid ’90s as a medic and loved it. He told me about the benefits: health care, education, a steady paycheck and a place to live. He told me about some of the people I would meet and the places I could potentially travel. Walking into the recruiter’s office the following Tuesday, I was already sold on the idea. I wanted to leave Indiana and this was the perfect way to do it. Seven months later, I was on my first commercial flight to San Antonio, Texas. Five months later, having completed basic military training, as well as technical training for Aircraft Hydraulic Systems, I was driving through the gates of Tinker Air Force Base with a Jeep full of everything I could carry from my first apartment. I had a new job, a new home and endless education opportunities, plus the potential to start a whole new life. At 20, things were looking up. Freedom felt like a six-year contract.

Four years, two deployments, a line number for E5 and a thousand memories later, the freedom that I longed for at 18 has taken on a completely different meaning. Everyone in a service uniform has their own unique set of reasons for waking up and putting it on every morning, and while mine were not all noble in the beginning, serving in the world’s greatest Air Force has given me a sense of pride that far surpasses anything I’d ever felt in the civilian world before I joined. Being a maintainer, a Wingman and most importantly an Airman has been an adventure, and I plan on holding on to the skills and values that have been instilled in me for the rest of my life.

At 23, freedom feels like the potential to do more. Whether I retire after 20-something years or decide not to re-enlist in 2020 when my contract is up, there is no doubt in my mind that the Air Force, my decision to join and the people, experiences and opportunities I’ve encountered along the way have been the most rewarding, especially during a time in my life where everything felt so incredibly up in the air. To me, now and always, freedom means the opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative. And that is, my friends, by definition, the American Dream.