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  • Aubrey Trufant

    Senior Airman (Sep.) Aubrey Trufant grew up in Germany, Turkey and Texas as a military brat. In 1999, he graduated from Central High School in San Angelo, Texas, and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the Air Force. Trufant enlisted July 20, 1999, as a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technician. His
  • James Stuart

    Master Sgt. (Ret.) James Stuart spent 20 years in the Air Force from February 1961 to November 1981. After basic military training, Stuart went to technical school to become a ground communications radio technician. During his career Stuart served two tours in Vietnam at Bien Hoa Air Base. There, Stuart worked on the communications systems of
  • Robert Stillwell

    Senior Master Sgt. (Ret.) Robert Stillwell joined the Air Force in 1968 during the Vietnam War instead of waiting to be drafted, and served as a member of the security police. After three-and-a-half years as a security policeman, Stillwell was given a chance to pursue his childhood dream of being an illustrator. "I knew my whole life that I wanted
  • Gary West

    Gary West retired from the Air Force in 2005 as a colonel. He flew more than 130 combat missions in F-15s and F-16s over Iraq and Bosnia. West says one of the things he loved most about the military was the camaraderie and being part of something bigger than himself. He fondly remembers his days as a squadron commander at Aviano Air Base, Italy.
  • Norman Ransom

    Staff Sgt. (Sep.) Norman Ransom voluntarily joined the Air Force in July 1967, despite being drafted into the Army. Ransom provided video documentation of Air Force missions in both the United States and overseas locations. He also recorded aerial footage of the closing of Da Nang Air Base, Vietnam. Ransom separated in 1971 and reenlisted the
  • Don Shelton

    Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Don Shelton joined the Air Force in 1971 when he was 18 years old. “I knew I was going to get drafted in the Army, but I wanted to join the Air Force,” he said. “Being from an Air Force family, my father took me to the recruiter and they got me in on the delayed enlistment program in October.” In December, Shelton attended
  • Walter Quering

    Staff Sgt. (Sep.) Walter Quering was drafted into World War II and entered basic training in June 1943.  He became a waist gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress and was assigned to the 8th Air Force’s 487th Bomb Group, 838th  Bombardment Squadron, which flew out of Lavenham, England and was commanded by Brig. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. Quering flew 34
  • Dan Quasius

    Senior Master Sgt. (Ret.) Dan Quasius followed in his father’s footsteps when he enlisted in the Air Force, but he never imagined it would last 33 years. While assigned to Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea in 1982, an incentive flight on a KC-135 Stratotanker inspired Quasius to cross-train and become a boom operator.  During his career, he flew on
  • George Pankonin

    Maj. (Ret.) George Pankonin served in the Air Force from 1970 to 1993. Pankonin served as an enlisted Airman from Nov. 18, 1970, to Sept. 28, 1978. Before earning his bachelor’s degree, and attending officer training school, Pankonin attained the rank of staff sergeant. His final assignment on active duty was as the 3345th Supply Squadron commander
  • Wayne Norrad

    Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Wayne Norrad, nicknamed “The God Father” in the special operations community, enlisted in the Air Force Feb. 25, 1966, as a B-52 nuclear bomb loader at Dow Air Force Base, Maine. He separated from active duty Dec. 17, 1969. After he returned to active duty Oct. 6, 1970, with an urge to have more excitement in his career,
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