By Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142FW
/ Published October 16, 2011
Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore. -- -- Over 60 airmen of the Oregon Air National Guard were honored during a "Hometown Heroes" ceremony here October 15, 2011 to celebrate a safe return home from various military deployments throughout the world in support of global contingency operations.
Awardees stood at attention at the Brigadier General Rosenbaum Hangar and when called, marched up on stage and shook hands with members of Oregon Air National Guard senior leadership.
One of the day's honorees, Tech Sgt. Alan Becker, a vehicle maintenance technician with the 142nd Logistics Readiness Squadron here was deployed to Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan- a transportation and logistics hub at Manas International Airport, near Bishek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
While on base, Becker was the assistant staff non-commissioned officer in charge (SNCOIC) and oversaw the ongoing maintenance of vehicles being sent to Afghanistan.
"It was an extremely busy base," said Becker.
Becker said one of his greatest accomplishments while deployed was his role in increasing 'vehicle-in-commission rates' from 75% to 95% as measured during an inspection. During this six month deployment, Becker said he had an opportunity to be a part of a military-to-military program, assisting Kyrgyz servicemembers in troubleshooting problems with their military vehicles.
Becker's family was in attendance, supporting accomplishments while deployed and celebrating his safe return home. For all the families in attendance, deployments often meant long hours handling the responsibility of household duties normally shared by the deployed airman, said event emcee Senior Master Sgt. David Fry.
"Today we want to recognize those who supported our mission but did not wear the uniform," said 142nd Fighter Wing Commander Col. Michael E. Stencel.
When Alan Becker arrived home from deployment, he presented his daughter Amanda Becker with a special gift: A flag that had flown over Afghanistan.
"It's so cool to be a part of something like that," said Amanda Becker, "I want to be like him, I'm very proud."