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Camp dedication honors two Airmen

  • Published
  • By James Coburn
  • Talespinner Staff Writer
A new training camp for the Basic Combat Convoy Course was dedicated Oct. 7 as Camp Anderson-Peters in honor of the two Airmen who lost their lives escorting convoys in Iraq.

Families of the two Airmen watched on the camp's parade grounds at Camp Bullis, Texas, along with Air Force leaders, camp builders, course instructors and 160 new BC3 graduates.

A plaque was unveiled that states: "Camp Anderson-Peters, dedicated in memory of Staff Sgt. Dustin W. Peters and Airman 1st Class Carl L. Anderson Jr., USAF, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom."

Both Airmen were killed by improvised explosive devices that blew up beneath their vehicles while they traveled in convoys in Iraq. Sergeant Peters, deployed from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., and trained by the Army before BC3 was created, was killed July 11, 2004.

Airman Anderson, a BC3 graduate deployed from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, was killed Aug. 29, 2004.

Sergeant Peters' ex-wife, Heather, and 5-year-old son, Dalton, attended from Kansas. She said her former husband was a wonderful person and the ceremony was something family members will remember for years.

Greeting Mrs. Peters and her son during the reception in a BC3 training building was Staff Sgt. Jeffery Storie, a BC3 student who will graduate Nov. 11. "Dustin Peters was my best friend," Sergeant Storie said, noting they went through basic training together at Lackland in December 1996, went through transportation technical school together and were stationed together for five years at Whiteman AFB, Mo. "I was there when his son (Dalton) was born."

Also attending was Sergeant Peters' stepfather, Richard Benning, from Hot Springs, Ark., who raised him from the age of 6, and his sister, Amber.

"He was always my big brother and took care of me. He loved his job," she said. She also said, he liked being in the Air Force, "and it changed him; it made him become more of a man."

Airman Anderson's father, Carl Anderson Sr., an African Methodist Episcopal minister from Georgetown, S.C., spoke during the ceremony. He was there with the Airman's mother, Doris, and two sisters. "We're grateful today to be here and naming this campsite in his honor," Mr. Anderson said. "Thank you for thinking of our little boy, Carl Jr., in this manner."

During the reception, Mr. Anderson said, "We're grateful for the Air Force. They have been with us every step of the way."

The keynote speaker for the camp dedication, Brig. Gen. Ron Ladnier, director of Air Force logistics readiness at the Pentagon, said BC3 has "molded 1,400 individuals into a team, a band of brothers and sisters" performing convoy duties so well that senior Army and Air Force officers "will not let us leave the mission."