Surrounded by heroes

  • Published
  • By Maj. James Petrick
  • 33d Maintenance Operations Squadron
During the holidays I often find myself
thinking of our military members who won't be
home with their families due to deployments.
You may not read about these men and women
or see them on TV, but rest assured...they're

Heroes who have sacrificed their time,
personal lives and self interests to support our
great nation and our goal of eliminating
terrorism. I don't have to look hard to find
these warriors ... our wing is full of them. I'd
like to call out a few Chargers that I consider
my personal heroes.

Let's start with Capt. Michael Frasco who
while deployed to Afghanistan served as a
convoy commander on more than 100 missions
covering 5,000 miles of dangerous highway
including roadways through Kabul and
Kandahar. Mike also evacuated 16 Airmen from
danger when riots broke out just outside of his
military base.

Another awesome example is Tech. Sgt. Pilar
Roberts and Senior Airman Elizabeth Muckell,
who while deployed to Iraq aggressively
exercised the base Giant Voice System
ultimately resulting in the safety of more than
6,000 US and Coalition forces. They really
"Charged it up" by flight managing more than
800 combat airlift missions resulting in the
movement of 3,600 passengers and 900 tons of

Let's not forget Senior Master Sgt. Ken
Teter who implemented new CENTAF reporting
requirements to make sure that headquarters
was consistently notified of logistics issues
impacting combat capability.
Ken really dug in and fully analyzed tanker
aircraft utilization to ensure maximum
effectiveness for missions supporting
operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom
and Horn of Africa. He was coined by two
different squadron commanders for his brilliant

I had an excellent opportunity during a
recent Airman Leadership School graduation to
discuss with Staff Sgt. Jeff Owens some of his
accomplishments while deployed. Jeff prepared
a briefing he presented to Lt. Gen. Gary North
and Lockheed Martin's chief executive officer
on the annual performance of combat aircraft
deployed to the AOR.

He also briefed the 9th Air Force Vice
Commander on health of CONUS and
deployed aircraft assigned to the 9th AF.
He was instrumental in providing top leaders
information that directly impacted combat

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the efforts
of Senior Airman Brian Quinerly. Brian was an
administration specialist assigned to the
Strategic Engagement Response Center and
later forward deployed to Southwest Asia.
He was consistently praised for his dynamite
support of the public affairs staff.

He was instrumental in making sure a team
of civilian translators executed their role in
translating regional media. It's apparent that
I'm not the only one who recognized his great
job as he was coined by Army Gen. John
Abizaid as a "superior performer."

I don't have room in this article to recognize
every squadron member who's served their
country with pride during a recent deployment.
However, I will take this opportunity to
thank our Nomads and their families for
everything they do both at home and abroad.
It's evident that their efforts are making a huge
impact on our important mission.
It's a pleasure to serve on this awesome
team. I want to wish all our Nomad Heroes a
safe and happy holiday season. Charge it up!