477th Fighter Group Public Affairs
8/11/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --
Airman 1st Class Jermaine James, 477th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, had some assistance launching F-22s from his wife, Mrs. Alaska, Gwynne James here Aug. 8.
"This was a once in a lifetime experience," said Gwynne. "I am honored to have the opportunity to experience what makes him happy on a daily basis. It makes me happy to see him happy.
Born and raised in Alaska, Gwynne competed in her first pageant in 2012 at 28 years old and took 2nd runner up. She almost didn't compete in this year's competition.
"Jermaine was not back from his technical training, but when he called home and said he would be getting in the day of the pageant I was excited and thought this would be such a great opportunity for us to get all dressed up and celebrate his return and our marriage," said Gwynne. "Although it is not a requirement for husbands to attend, it was so important to me for him to be present."
James, who was born and raised in Jamaica and moved to the U.S. when he was 15 years old, joined the 477th Fighter Group May 2012. The 477th FG, Alaska's only Reserve unit, provided an opportunity for James to serve his country and stay in the state he now calls home.
"I came to Alaska through the means of the military, it wasn't by choice but now I am so grateful that I was able to and now am able to embrace the last frontier," said James.
Being new to an F-22 unit James hadn't had the opportunity to show his wife what he does for a living until today.
"It was my first time being around an F-22," said Gwynne. "I was very impressed and gained such a greater respect for what my husband does. He is so meticulous and that is exactly the kind of person who needs to be working on such a great jet...or any jet for that matter."
Her husband echoed similar sentiments about having his wife at work with him.
"I thought it was the greatest experience ever to share what I do on a daily basis with my wife, if she could come to work with me every day, I wouldn't mind it," said James.