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Heroes Among U.S.

by: Paul Bristol

”Excellence in all we do, that is something that will resonate in me for the rest of my life.”
There is a saying that all heroes do not wear capes.  Most of these heroes volunteer their time to be a part of something greater than themselves, by joining the American Defense System.

Brandon Alston grew up with a military background, but he was not influenced enlist right away in any of the armed forces.  Alston joined because he wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself.

Even though his father wanted him to join the military, he says he was very proud of his son when he enlisted in the American Defense System.

Although in the beginning of his service, he found it quite hard to stay the course.  “When you get to boot camp,” Brandon noted, “it is very hard because you do not know anybody and you are having a hard time keeping the motivation alive.”

The cards were against him, but that did not stop him from reaching the goal.  “It taught me a lot, going through boot camp, that you have got to keep your head down to find your motivation.”  Alston says.

Alston said that true character is revealed through times where everything is not going your way.  He ended up staying the course and found his motivation in Tactical Aircraft Maintenance.

There he would operate on some of the fastest, aerodynamic aircrafts on the face of the planet.  He mainly worked on A-10 fighter jets, but he also had training on some of the infamous F-15’s and F-16’s.

If you do not have a background in aviation, an F-15 itself can reach up to speeds of 2.5 machs (1,600 mph).  This is also the first fighter jet in American history that can accelerate vertically.

Although he worked on these jets, he never really got the chance to go overseas and experience action firsthand.  “It was kind of bittersweet” Alston noted.  “I really wanted a chance to go overseas, however circumstances out of my control prevented that.”

  • Enlisted in the Air Force
  • Became a Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic on F-15’s, F-16’s, & A-10 fighter jets
  • Never got a chance to go overseas for combat
  • Two years later, he is a full time student at Pellissippi State

He worked on these aircrafts for all of two years while in the Air Force.  Now, he resides in Knoxville and is a full time student at Pellissippi.

He has not worked on an aircraft or a vehicle since.  He has since strayed away from being a mechanic.  Alston is trying to find his true passion in life one day at a time.

“I do not have a set future career just yet.   I am taking this one day at a time to find my passion in life,” Alston happily exclaims.  “Just like my training in the Air Force, I am going to put my head down and find my motivation in life.”