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Short stories

Every dog has its day

Every dog has its day
a short story

Rob Bartell spent sessions with his therapist discussing methods to channel his anger. Now he focused on cranking the window down in his cheap rental. The cool air refreshed him. The folded American flag and medal they tossed him at the capital were in a backpack on the passenger seat. He still felt the governor’s handshake, which tried to match his.

[You were there, Bro.]

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News

Longest-serving on TEC staff, Billie Laux, dies at 85

FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. — Billie Laux, who provided decades of service and support to the Air National Guard training and education center, died Sunday, May 24, at 85.

Laux was hired in 1968 by the Director of the Air National Guard to serve as a civilian administrator at the ANG’s first NCO Academy. She was among its six initial instructors and staff, including a deputy commandant, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Paul H. Lankford, and a commandant/commander U.S. Air Force Maj. Ed Morrisey.

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Education center reflects on 50 years: Part Five – Departures and arrivals

The Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

In honor of a half-century of learning, this feature series highlights TEC, from its first classes in a World War II-era aircraft hangar to the present day.

The current decade leading to TEC’s 50th anniversary is noted through the departure and arrival of programs and leaders. Part Five looks back at 2008 to 2018.

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Education center reflects on 50 years: Part Three – Physical, technical junctures

The Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

In honor of a half-century of learning, this feature series highlights TEC, from its first classes in a World War II-era aircraft hangar to the present day.

Possibly no other period significantly transformed TEC than its third decade. Part Three looks back at 1988 to 1998.

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Education center reflects on 50 years: Part Two – Building on success

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – In honor of a half-century of learning, this feature series highlights the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, from its first classes in a World War II-era aircraft hangar to the present day.

How did the Air Guard set its education bar higher from the previous decade? Part Two looks back at 1978 to 1988.

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Education center reflects on 50 years: Part One – ‘Before him, there was nothing’

LOUISVILLE, Tenn – The Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

In honor of a half-century of learning, this feature series highlights TEC, from its first classes in a World War II-era aircraft hangar to the present day.

What does it take to put an education center together? Part One looks back at 1968 to 1978.

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commentary

Commentary: Airport name honors Guard general’s son, who enlisted into Great War 100 years ago

(Image: A Curtiss H-16 patrol seaplane on a reconnaissance flight from U.S. Naval Air Station, Killingholm, England, Nov. 06, 1918. Photo courtesy Naval History and Heritage Command.)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – This July, 100 years ago, Charles McGhee Tyson, a Princeton University Graduate and a successful textile businessman in Knoxville, Tenn., enlisted as a seaman, second class, into the U.S. Naval Reserve Flying Corps. His service and sacrifice in the Great War would make him one of the area’s more memorialized service members.

Those who ever served at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base or flew into McGhee Tyson Airport probably know the name, but some are not aware of the man and the family behind it.

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Anchoring an officer commissioning program’s memory

Stored for nearly three years, the relocation of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s Drosendahl Memorial this month to the running track provides a weathered reminder of the Air National Guard’s Academy of Military Science officer commissioning program that’s no longer on campus.

Without this gray granite stone, without the seven inscribed AMS graduate names of those alumni who died serving the nation, without some other traces, only a few staff would recall TEC once having officer candidates, said the Deputy Commander, Lt. Col. David Meece.

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AF’s last serving reciprocating engine flight engineer retires

The Air Force’s last serving reciprocating engine flight engineer took his final flight here today at the air base he enlisted at more than 41 years ago.

Chief Master Sgt. Michael Reinert retired from military service at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base Sept. 6 amongst the aviators he served and near the aircraft that he helped fly.

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News

Air Guard’s charter members reflect on first 60 years [Repost]

Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith
National Guard Bureau

(Note: This reposted article was originally written and published April 9, 2007)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AF NEWS) — Their membership gets older and smaller every day. Nearly 60 years have passed since they formed, but time has not removed distant memories of 1946 and 1947 after these veterans helped claim victory in World War II and flew as Air National Guardsmen. 

You may have met them on your drill weekends outside your shop or at a base function. He was that man with the silver hair who grabbed your elbow in the hallway one Saturday afternoon to tell you about those who came before you. Or it was another senior citizen describing how his and other Airmen’s voices filled the cockpits of retired aircraft and echoed in hangars long since torn down. 

They are the Air Guard’s charter Airmen. They will be there when the Air Guard celebrates its 60th birthday this fall. 

Some of these charter Airmen keep in touch with their units and share their whereabouts and experiences through alumni groups, museums, speaking engagements, and interviews. 

Retired Colorado Air Guard Tech. Sgt. Harry Emily, 90, is the oldest living charter member of the Colorado Air Guard. 

Sergeant Emily joined the National Guard in 1938 and left after World War II. He helped train pilots, navigators, and aero engineers on B-25 Mitchell bombers, and he went to school to serve in a P-38 Lightning fighter squadron. He said there were 17 members in 1946 when they reorganized the 120th Aero Observation Squadron into the 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron, which flew P-51 Mustang fighters. They were the first Air Guard members in the country to be federally recognized. 

They federalized in Texas, and still have a photograph taken of the entire observation squadron. “That photo hangs in the Buckley Air National Guard Base headquarters building in Denver,” he said. 

During the war, many Army Air Corps units were moved or broken up, and their experienced Soldiers scattered throughout the Army. After the war, the new Air National Guard Airmen came from a war-expanded and reorganized Army Air Force. These veterans were already forming Air Guard squadrons in their hometowns when Congress established the Air Guard Sept. 18, 1947. 

Sergeant Emily said what defined the early Air Guard was no different than the National Guard today: The primary intent to take care of the state and to protect the nation in case of a national emergency. Everything has gotten bigger, he said, but the individuals and the families that sacrifice time to serve their state and country remain the same. 

“They are doing a wonderful job, and, God, we can’t do enough to support them,” he said. 

He and others from the original Colorado Air Guard do their best. The group helped build a museum. Established in 1994, the Winds over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver is a place where people learn about the role of aviation and the Air Guard. The museum recorded and archived Sergeant Emily’s experiences on video. 

“At my age, all you have left is memories,” he said. Sergeant Emily was an Air Guard member, a newspaperman, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather. He lives in Denver with his wife, Frances.

The origins of the Colorado Air Guard and Sergeant Emily’s small group are similar to how other Air Guard units started throughout the country. Most units existed as a handful of seasoned combat flyers and mechanics from the war. Others were the Air Guard’s first recruits. 

Lt. Col. Lloyd Goodrow, a public affairs officer for the Vermont Air Guard, said 27 World War II combat veterans organized the Vermont Air Guard, which was the fifth Guard unit to be federally recognized. 

“The original 27 Air Guard members are now reduced to four,” Colonel Goodrow said. 

The unit’s second wing commander, retired Brig. Gen. Richard Spear, is one of them. General Spear, who now lives in Arizona, was a pilot during World War II and started his own business when he returned home. But he left it when he heard there would be a flying unit in Burlington. 

“We had just a big, empty field. There was absolutely nothing there,” the general said. 

Colonel Goodrow said the unit leased a hangar from the city, which became home for their training aircraft, a C-47 Skytrain cargo plane, and an L-5 Sentinel liaison aircraft. Maintenance performed on the flightline. The unit provided air and sea rescue on Lake Champlain with its C-47, a 5-foot raft, and a 42-foot crash boat. 

Today the Vermont Air Guard is involved in homeland defense. Since 9/11, its 158th Fighter Wing has defended the nation with its F-16 Fighting Falcons. 

“Sixty years have passed, and so have many who proudly called themselves Vermont Air National Guardsmen,” said Colonel Goodrow. 

He said high tech multimedia marketing plans have now replaced the days of knocking on doors of World War II veterans to invite them to sign up for the Air Guard. 

“The ultimate desire to serve and make a difference remains the same,” Colonel Goodrow said. “These gentlemen, our original pioneers, lit the spark that became the powerful fire that is now the Air National Guard, and our gratitude for their courage and determination will remain. Our challenge is to carry on their great legacy.” 

(Photo U.S. Army Spc. Jessica Stone)