WINOOSKI, Vt. - Past and present members of the 158th Fighter Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) make their way around the retired WWII Sherman Tank to enter the Winooski VFW Post 1767. Inside, current members of the wing trade stories with former Guardsmen and their families.
The LRS hosts events throughout the year, including squadron picnics and holiday breakfasts. These events allow the LRS to continue fostering a strong community both in their office and within the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG) as a whole. These events are usually held on base and typically only active LRS members are able to attend.
The LRS staff took the time to contact and invite as many retirees as possible and the room was equally filled with current and former VTANG members.
“It felt like a family reunion,” said Lt. Col. Steven Lambrecht, who has served as the LRS commander for the past two years. “We frequently have events for our members, but we wanted to take the time to include our retired Guardsmen as well.”
The retirees were excited to be part of the event, visiting with friends, who are still serving in the VTANG, reminiscing the time they spent working together and catching up on life in general.
Master Sgt. Anthony Augustino, who retired in 2000 after a 27-year military career, served 19 years with the VTANG and said how much he enjoyed the event.
“It was great to see everyone who I used to work with,” said Augustino. “I would love to do this next year because there is too big of a gap between when someone retires and when they usually see their fellow Guardsmen again.”
As a capstone to the celebrations, Lambrecht made a special point of thanking not only the individuals who had volunteered their time setting up the dinner, but also gave awards honoring exemplary Airmen currently within the LRS office.
“We plan to host a similar event next year,” said Lambrecht. “We have a strong community here and we want our former members to still feel like they are a part of that. Retiring does not have to mean leaving the wing community, so we hope word will spread and more people will attend next time.”