Alaskans support their National Guard members
By Tech. Sgt. Bruce Gazaway, 176th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 14, 2008
KULIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Alaska -- Carl Bradford is one member of the Alaska Guard family who never wears a uniform and never stands in formation. Yet he is present at nearly every Guard award ceremony or public event. At his suggestion, the organization he represents has provided thousands of dollars in awards to outstanding soldiers and airmen.
Bradford's roots with Alaska's military ran deep. He first came to Alaska in 1963 when his father, an airman, was stationed at Elmendorf. Bradford himself was an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam era. While in the military he worked in radio and television production. After earning his honorable discharge Bradford quickly moved back to Alaska and has remained here since.
As Alaska USA's Military Operations Branch Manager, Bradford, by his reckoning, has been supporting the military community for nearly 20 years. It all started when an old family friend, then-Kulis commander Col. Paul Lindemuth, asked about the possibility of contributing something to an awards ceremony for the Alaska Air National Guard.
Bradford didn't have to think twice. He said 'yes,' and started a tradition of providing cash awards to deserving service members. Bradford was soon joined by Winn Fowler of GEICO Insurance and Alaska Sales & Service in a tradition of community support that still endures. Since that first ceremony many other members of the Anchorage business community have joined Bradford in recognizing outstanding soldiers and airmen with
Carl Bradford and Alaska USA provide the Levitow award for both the NCO Academy and the Airman Leadership School, and $100 each to the Airman of the Year, NCO of the Year, Senior NCO of the Year and Officer of the Year.
After all these years of supporting Alaska's servicemembers, Bradford says he has only one regret "I just wish there were more opportunities to support the Air Guard."