By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
DANVILLE — A local high school graduate was recognized as a top airman in his field by his Air Force peers.
Airman First Class Tyler Bordner, a Danville local, was awarded a MAJCOM Airman of the Year award for his work as a vehicle management specialist at Texas’ Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
“Frankly, I was a little shocked that I got it, but I was excited at the same time. It’s an honor to get such an award. I try my best every day,” said Tyler, a member of Danville High School’s graduating class of 2010.
Tyler works as a vehicle management specialist, working on land-based vehicles, including trucks, forklifts, dump trucks, diesel trucks and other equipment meant for heavy-duty work. “We pretty much work on everything,” he said.
The MAJCOM award recognizes the top airman or airwoman in their field. Tyler was chosen for the award out of several specialists stationed on bases in his region.
“We look at the whole package,” said Oscar Balladares, of the public affairs office for Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. “The primary thing is how he carries out his duties as a vehicle management specialist. They want a well-rounded individual.”
Since getting the award, Tyler has received a handwritten letter of praise from an Air Force colonel and congratulations from his commander.
Tyler will now advance to the next level of MAJCOM recognition, where he will compete against vehicle management specialists throughout the entire Air Force.
He first signed up for the Air Force during high school and started basic training in December of 2010. “I’ve wanted to join the air force ever since I was a freshman in high school,” Tyler said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” He plans on re-enlisting after six years and making the Air Force his career for the foreseeable future.
“I want to get out and see the world and travel … not just stay here in one spot for the rest of my life,” he said. In about three weeks, Tyler will be deployed to South Korea for a year and afterward will be stationed in Japan.
He’ll be back in Danville for about a week and a half beforehand, spending time with friends and family before heading overseas.
Tyler isn’t the only member of his family in the armed services, though, as both his father and grandfather served in the Navy. In addition, his younger brother, Travis, followed in Tyler’s footsteps and also enlisted for the Air Force.
Travis had previously been accepted into West Virginia University, said the boys’ mother, Lori Kilgus, but changed his mind upon visiting Tyler at the San Antonio-Lackland base.
“To have both my sons in the Air Force is really amazing,” Kilgus said. Travis is currently still in training in South Dakota.
“That makes me feel really proud. I never thought my brother would make that type of choice,” Tyler said. “It’s really awesome to know he’s in the same type of family I’m in. I know he’s taken care of as well as I am.”