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Airman Spotlight: Senior Airman Henry Thomas

Senior Airman Henry Thomas, 51st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron/ 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit

Senior Airman Henry Thomas, 51st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron/ 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Airman Spotlight: Senior Airman Henry Thomas

Unit: 51st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron/ 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit

Job title: F-16 Avionics Systems Journeyman

Job description and its impact on the overall mission: Interprets equipment operating characteristics to isolate malfunctions in systems such as attack control, radar, infrared, laser, instruments, displays, flight control, communication, navigation, satellite communications, identification, defensive and offensive, and defensive or offensive electronic warfare systems.

Time in the military: Two years and six months

Time at Osan: Five months

DEROS: September 2011

Family: Father: Henry Thomas Jr., Mother: Megan Thomas, and Sister: Brittany Taylor.

Hometown: Gainesville, Fl.

Hobbies: Pursuing bachelor's degree, work related side projects, video games and hanging out with friends.

Why did you join the military? I joined the military because I needed something new and different with my life, while continuing a great tradition of those who have served before me.

Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? In 10 years I hope to have my master's degree and to have been commissioned. In 20 years I would like to retire and live life as life sees fit.

What do you do for fun here? I like to go sightseeing and traveling around Korea, and while on base I like to bowl at MIG Alleys Bowling Center.

What's your favorite Air Force memory or story?
I have many great memories so far, but I would have to say volunteering at the hospital on Joint Base Balad, Iraq was my favorite. I was helping care for patients in the Intensive Care Unit after they were taken off Blackhawk helicopters, and until they were sent home on the C-5s. It helped open my eyes to the sacrifices these men and women make on a daily basis to protect our nation.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? As a person of many accomplishments, just knowing, in some shape or form, I have made a difference is enough to make me proud about what I do.

Who are your role models? My role models would be anyone whom I have met. It is the experiences and knowledge I gain from others who have helped me become who I am today, and who I will be tomorrow.

My experience with Lt. Gen. Reno: I started off my morning having breakfast with Lt. Gen Reno and other Airmen. Being quite the character General Reno brought life to the table as he introduced himself and told stories to help show how the Air Force has transitioned since he joined in 1973. Though he brought up a good point when he asked from the number of us to recite the Airman's Creed, partially ashamed that I had not remembered it completely I didn't step up to the task. From the group two individuals made a gallant effort until the faltered a little and then the group helped them finish it. General Reno showed us the importance of knowing our Airman's Creed and I will never forget it again or forget what it stands for.

Later that day I was picked to meet Lt. Gen. Reno personally when he visited the 36th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. Maj. Anderson, my squadron commander, asked me to share some recent accomplishments with the general. I was a little shaky explaining of the problem of classified hard drive shortages, and the impact it had on our aircraft generation. The general showed interest in wanting to know more of how I did this, how long it took, and the some of the struggles I had getting to the solution. I described lack of troubleshooting methods, identifying resources and guides I never knew available, and how I was able to work with the program manager at Hill Air Force Base, Utah from Osan Air Base to overcome faults to the general. Lt. Gen Reno then asked me what my parents think of what I do, I said they were proud. He then asked me how often I speak with my family, I told him the truth. I talk to my dad about once a week, and I talk to my mom almost every day. He then shook my hand, coined me and told me to let my parents know that he is proud of me too. That night I made sure to let them know about the experience I had meeting General Reno.