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  • McConnell Airman helps locate Vietnam War MIAs

    MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. — It’s Jan. 29, 1969. Maj. Campbell and Capt. Horton are flying in their F-4 Phantom II during an armed reconnaissance mission in Laos. After spotting an enemy supply truck, they roll in for the attack.
  • Airman uses psychology work to help other Airmen, community

    MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan.— One McConnell boom operator has made it her mission to improve the mental health of her fellow Airmen and members of the local community.Tech. Sgt. Chelsey Thornhill a 350th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, is currently acting as 22nd Air Refueling Wing Complaints and Resolutions noncommissioned officer in
  • Hitting the right notes: Singing boom operator inspires others

    MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan.— Growing up in a poverty-stricken, single-parent family, he used singing as a kind of therapy.Airman 1st Class Julian Awari, 349th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator, was only six when he first realized he had a talent for singing, and it was a hobby he would stick with throughout his life.“I like to creatively
  • Heart to heart: Air Force steps up to help Airman’s family

    MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan.— Five days after their baby was born in 2011, they realized something was wrong. When they took her back to the hospital, they found out they were in for a long, rough road ahead.“They quickly rushed us over to the neonatal intensive care unit, and we met with a cardiologist who said that my daughter has hypoplastic
  • Airman puts maintenance skills to use on motocross track

    MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. – He ran the motorcycle through a five-foot pool of water, wrecking the bike; everything he had worked for all his life seemed to be over. Staff Sgt. Thomas Tangedal, 22nd Maintenance Squadron aircraft metal technology journeyman, was completing a practice run on a 150-mile loop in the desert outside of Las Vegas,
  • Family reunites after four years apart

    MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kansas – When asked what he would be willing to sacrifice for the good of his family. Airman 1st Class Messan Atayi can say four years. That’s how long it took him to reunite with his wife, and a daughter who he had never met. Atayi, an Individual Equipment journeyman with the 22nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, moved to
  • A chief’s foundation: Faith, family, mentorship

    MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --  Thirty feet up in the air, clinging to a utility pole, was a brand-new Airman crying out for help. He was panicking and insistent that he was going to fall.An instructor stared up at him from the ground and sighed. This was the sergeant’s first day as a technical training school instructor, and before that moment,
  • 30 years of service: mistakes made, lessons learned

    A picture of him as a master sergeant hangs on the wall in his office, welcoming every Airman who walks through the door. To some it may seem as a decoration of self-importance, but if you ask him, he’ll tell you it holds a much different significance.“I have the picture there to remind me that I can’t think like a command chief,” said Chief Master
  • Beekeeping: McConnell Airman discovers 'sweet’ hobby

    MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- During his studies as an environmental science major, a McConnell Airman became interested in beekeeping, which led him down the path to a somewhat unusual hobby.Tech. Sgt. Garrett Wright, 22nd Operations Support Squadron Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape and Personnel Recovery specialist, obtained his first
  • Healing the wounds that can’t be seen

    Nine deployments, severe depression, anxiety and alcoholism, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a suicide attempt, were what drove one McConnell Airman to begin a journey to reshape his life.“My first combative deployment was to Kirkuk, Iraq, back in 2006,” said Tech. Sgt. Terrance Williams, 22nd Security Forces Squadron resources NCO in-charge. “I
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