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15 enlist before military appreciation hockey game

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jacob Corbin
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
Fifteen young men and women became new members of the U.S. Air Force Jan. 26 during an enlistment ceremony at the Wichita Falls Wildcats Military Appreciation hockey game in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux, 82nd Training Wing commander, led the future Airmen in taking the oath of enlistment on the ice at the annual event, attended by members of the local community and more than 400 Airmen in Training.

"You made the decision to come to a hockey game tonight," General Devereaux told the assembled crowd. "The young men and women before me have made a much more tremendous decision -- a decision to join the United States Air Force."

Amanda Smith, a 2007 City View High School graduate, was one of the participants in the ceremony. She chose to join the Air Force to pursue a career in security forces.

"I think events like this are great," Ms. Smith said. "Maybe it will motivate others and show them what the Air Force is all about."

Master Sgt. Frankie Mach, a flight superintendent with the 364th Recruiting Squadron, said events like this help spread the word about these soon-to-be Airmen's part of the Air Force story.

"Their story is their family and friends," Sergeant Mach said. "They might have friends who don't know about the Air Force. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to join the military. Some of the people here tonight may look at this and see how well we treat our people and say 'maybe we want to be a part of this too.'"

Sergeant Mach said of the 15 new recruits, about half were joining for the Air Force's educational benefits and the other half because of family and tradition. No matter what, he predicted each will have a career with numerous benefits.

The veteran recruiter said few, if any, companies will give new members the benefits the Air Force does -- pointing to benefits like 100 percent tuition assistance, complete medical care, housing and paid leave.  
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