During Milwaukee Armed Forces Week May 11-16, 2020, we support our currently serving military.
Today, we honor U.S. Air Force Colonel Andrew T Wahl, 128th Operations Group Commander, 128th Air Refueling Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard, Milwaukee.
What has been your experience in recent weeks as a member of the military during COVID19?
“Serving in these unprecedented times has only strengthened my commitment to serve and command in the Wisconsin Air National Guard, 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee. While I never thought about having to serve and perform my duties during a world-wide pandemic, I am proud of my unit and teammates who are serving their communities in State Active Duty status with election day and COVID-19 testing collection support. At the same time, we are continuing to meet our federal mission requirements all over the world.
"This period of time reminds me that I follow in the footsteps of those who served honorably before me, ensuring our freedoms today. I’m sure my grandfather, who fought on the Aleutian Islands and in Europe during World War II, had similar thoughts as I do today: Am I ready to meet this challenge? How long will this fight take? Will my family be okay? As I remember the stories he would tell me, especially how he would lay metal sections on the frozen ground to create a runway in the middle of nowhere, I am reminded that there is no real training that prepares a person to meet times like today. Instead, you rely on the training that you received and those who serve with you to overcome adversity and the unknown. It is that dedication to your fellow Airman, Soldier, Sailor, or Marine that makes serving in the military such a great opportunity for the next generation of young men and women."
Why do you serve and what does it mean to be a member of the U.S. Armed Forces?
"I believe that leadership starts with acknowledging our love and duty to God followed closely by love and duty to our family and country. Integrity will be born from this love and duty. This kind of integrity must be our starting point.
"My thoughts, efforts, and actions will focus on treating others as I would want to be treated. I will listen attentively, seeking understanding, and leverage the experience and talents of others fully. This will help guide our path toward service before self.
"I will always strive to do my best in all that I do and I expect others to do the same. I believe excellence in all we do is having the peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable.
"To my fellow countrymen – it is a pleasure to serve you."
Thank you, Colonel Wahl, for your dedication and service in our U.S. Armed Forces.