Family Legacy in the Iowa Air National Guard

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tylon Chapman
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing

Lucas Kornder followed in the footsteps of his three older brothers when he became the fourth sibling to join the Iowa Air National Guard after swearing the Oath of Enlistment at the 133rd Test Squadron in Fort Dodge, Iowa, this month.

“It’s kind of something that I have been expecting for almost a decade now, to be in the Air Force,” said Kornder.

Kornder said one of the reasons he decided to join the Iowa Air National Guard was because of the many benefits, including 100 percent tuition assistance for undergraduates that can be applied toward colleges in Iowa.

“The Air Force was able to give me options that I didn’t think were feasible before,” explained Lucas Kornder.

Kornder, a senior at St. Edmond Catholic School in Fort Dodge, Iowa, says he plans to attend Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, after completing Basic Military Training.

Kornder grew up in Fort Dodge, and like his older brothers’ enlistments into the Air National Guard, he has followed along behind them for most of his life.

Jobs often available in Iowa to high-schoolers are agriculture-related, like detasseling for seed corn growers.

“They started their summers detasseling,” said Jay Kornder, Lucas’ father. “And, then the next year they all did lifeguarding at the local pool, and then they all graduated and went to the Air Guard.”

As the youngest sibling, Lucas Kornder saw how well service in the Air National Guard was going for his brothers.

“So it’s always been something I knew I was going to do, and here I am,” explained Lucas Kornder.

Kathy Porter, Lucas’ mother, told how they did not originally have the military in mind when Joel Kornder, Lucas Kornder’s oldest brother, enlisted.

“Our oldest son Joel’s best friend here in town joined the Air Guard,” said Kathy Porter, Lucas’ mother. “Otherwise we didn’t even have that on our radar, so to speak, no pun intended.”

The mother of Joel Kornder’s friend told Porter about all the good experiences her son had as a member of the Air National Guard, explained Porter.

According to Porter, after seeing her first three sons graduate Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, she is ready to see her youngest son do so as well.

“When they play that music when they are getting the coin ceremony, it’s just an incredible experience and I can’t wait to do that again,” said Porter.

“It is a good experience, to be there with the family and participate in their achievement,” said Jay Kornder.

Lucas Kornder’s oldest brother worked as a Radio Frequency Transmissions Systems Specialist at the 133rd Test Squadron, his second oldest brother worked as a Geospatial Intelligence Analyst at the 132nd Wing Des Moines Air National Guard Base, Iowa, and his last older brother is working at the 133rd Test Squadron as Airfield and Ground Weather Radar.

Kornder is also following behind his eldest brother, as he has signed up to work as a Radio Frequency Transmissions Systems Specialist at the 133rd Test Squadron.

Tech. Sgt. Austin Wascher, Recruiting and Retention Noncommissioned Officer at the 133rd Test Squadron, explained how unique it was to have four siblings join the Air National Guard.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had this happen before,” remarked Wascher. “To have all four join, for each of them to medically qualify and to test high enough on the ASVAB for these jobs is rare.”

The 133rd Test Squadron is a geographically-separated unit subordinate to the 185th Air Refueling Wing based in Sioux City, Iowa.

As the 133rd Test Squadron’s mission of conducting operational and developmental testing of command and control equipment for the air control squadron community continues, so does a legacy of family service in the Iowa Air National Guard.

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