by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Trevino
433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
11/8/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- More
than a dozen community leaders were inducted into the 433rd Airlift
Wing Honorary Commanders Program at the Gateway Club on Lackland Air
Force Base Nov. 3.
The Honorary Commanders Program pairs "Alamo Wing" leadership with local
area business and civic leaders. The outreach program is designed to
educate civilians about 433rd AW activities and most importantly, the
Air Force Reserve and its vital role in the national defense. They meet
periodically during their tenure for activities including luncheons,
tours, orientation flights, and other special on- and off-base events.
"If you haven't been around the military much, the experience is gonna
blow you away. It is absolutely awesome how much you learn from us and
what we learn from you," said , in his welcome address to the inductees.
Lt. Col. John Martino, 733rd Training Squadron commander, will continue
to work with his returning Honorary Commander Mark Frye, the Government
Program Manager at Port San Antonio.
"Part of our connection is that both of us graduated from Ohio State,
and both majored in geology. What is funny is when we got connected last
year, we had no idea we would be connected," Martino said. "This is a
great program. It is a win-win for the wing, for the community and for
the honorary commanders. They learn more about what we do, and we get to
give them feedback we don't receive otherwise. We can tell our story,
and not from the commander' s standpoint. I am talking from the lowest
ranking Airman. And that is where Mark likes to get involved," Martino
Bill Wilson, a new inductee, who is the director for the Texas Senate
Committee on Veterans Affairs and Military Installations, is excited to
be a part of the program.
"Being a part of this, even if it is honorary, is a great chance to
engage in the side of the military that I don't know a lot about. I am
interested in learning what the top commanders do all the way to the
enlisted Airman are involved with at the 433rd.
Tino Duran, owner and publisher of two local bilingual newspapers, is
also known as the godfather of Spanish media. For him, getting involved
in the program is a great opportunity to share the Citizen Airmen
"This program is going to provide an insight into what you do. Once I
get into it, I want to write about it. I am praying this gives me a
profound insight into what you do, then I can verbalize it in writing
for the general public in San Antonio. I am looking forward to being
part of the experience," Duran said.
"As a civilian you often don't get to see what the military is doing in
their missions. It's exciting that we get know that and share it with
our friends and family," said Gary Cram, president of a local roofing
company that bears his name. "I am looking forward to fulfilling my
oath," he said.
After a pinning-on ceremony, the group took an oath as honorary commanders.
"Those words mean a lot to us," said Col. Jeffrey T. Pennington, 433rd
AW commander. "The burden of command carries a lot responsibility. This
experience will blow you away when you see the men and women behind the
operations and what they do, it will raise your confidence and your
pride in knowing that this nation is well defended."