148th Fighter Wing Honors Hometown Heroes in Duluth

By KBJR News 1

December 8, 2013 Updated Dec 8, 2013 at 11:33 PM CDT


“Let them say about me I was one who believed.”

Former KBJR 6 and Range 11 sports anchor turned Air National Guard Captain Jodi Kiminski spent Sunday afternoon serenading her fellow airmen.
This is the 148th Fighter Wing’s annual awards ceremony.
Honorees included another KBJR 6 and Range 11 alumnus, former reporter Chris Axelson and retiring Master Sergeant Keith Johnson of Minnesota Teen and Adult Challenge in Duluth.
Ceremonies like this allow the 148th to pay humble tribute to service.

“We really like to showcase what those individuals have done and performed through the year.” said Major Julie Grandaw.

Dozens of Air Guardsmen were honored for a multitude of achievements.
The highest awards went to Staff Sergeant Andrew Walker.
He was presented with the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Action Medal after hitting an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

“The IED contained 80 pounds of explosives and detonated under the vehicle on the front passenger side tossing the 20 ton vehicle into the air.” said the announcer at the ceremony.

During 2012 and 2013, the 148th deployed to Afghanistan, took part in many nationwide exercises and dealt with sequestration and the government shutdown.
According to their superiors, the unit performed well in all circumstances.

“It was really a fantastic year for the 148th Fighter Wing and we expect 2014 to be just as good.” said Colonel Frank Stokes, 148th Commanding Officer.

“And the home of the brave” sang the singer of the National Anthem.

In Duluth, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.

SSGT Amy Ewald - 1st AF noncom of the year
1LT Joshua Fellegy - pilot of the year
CPT Jennifer Peterson - company grade officer of the year
SRA Aaron Couch - outstanding senior airman of the year
TSGT Zachary Graves - outstanding noncom of the year
MSGT Cynthia Wahl - outstanding senior noncom of the year
SMSGT Scott Twining - outstanding 1st sgt of the year
MSGT Luke Sanda - unit career advisor of the year