128th ARW CE Airmen return to Camp American Legion

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Morgan R. Lipinski
  • 128th Air Refueling Wing
Airmen with the Civil Engineer Squadron of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard, assisted in building a fish-cleaning station for Camp American Legion Sept. 17-25, 2016.

Camp American Legion is located in the lush, northern woods of Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin. The camp features activities such as swimming, boating, and hiking with a main objective of providing Wisconsin veterans and their families a place to relax, regenerate, rehabilitate, and reintegrate as a family. 

The 128 ARW CES has participated in Camp American Legion projects since 2014. This year, the 128 ARW CES Airmen returned to the camp, alongside volunteers from Oshkosh Defense LLC, to build a fish-cleaning station on the shores of Lake Big Carr.

In July 2016, the Airmen prepped the site by installing a septic tank, drain systems, and a concrete slab foundation. In September, the Airmen returned to the site to begin building the structure. The dimensions of the station are 13 feet high by 16 feet deep.  Other features of the station include a push-button, handicap-accessible front door, a stainless-steel fish-cleaning station with hanging hoses and electrical outlets, and other building materials. The construction materials and supplies for the project were donated by local community businesses and other charitable funds.

Senior Master Sgt. Kyle Fugar, an Airmen with the 128 ARW CES since 2002, worked on the project alongside his civilian coworkers of Oshkosh Defense LLC. In his civilian career, Fugar is an energy manager with the company.

"To be able to support the camp and other veterans is an awesome and worthwhile experience," said Fugar. "It was also a great opportunity to involve my co-workers from Oshkosh Defense to volunteer alongside my squadron and learn the firsthand aspects of our mission capabilities."

Along with helping a charitable foundation, this real-world construction project also benefited Airmen because it provided an opportunity for interactive job training.

"As an A1C working on this project, I'm gaining knowledge and even going beyond my own Air Force job skills, while also helping veterans and their families," said Airman 1st Class Michael Thanscheidt, an Airmen with the 128 ARW CES.

Whether installing siding, repairing piping, or building a structure, the 128 ARW CES Airmen are a skilled team that strive to use their capabilities and training opportunities to benefit the community.

"This was another success of the Civil Engineering team that excels from the experienced Airmen down to our newest additions," said Lt. Col. Heath Duncan, 128 ARW CES commander. "These are the kind of projects that truly resound with people; ones where we not only learn and develop skills, but also give back and make a tangible difference where it's needed."