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Utah Airmen Participate in Dining-Out

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Airmen from the 151st Air Refueling Wing, tenant organizations and Utah State Headquarters got decked out in their best uniforms to take part in an evening of socializing and sending their fellow co-workers to the grog May 9 during the Utah Air National Guard's long-awaited dining-out.

Approximately 150 Airmen and guests attended the event hosted by Brig. Gen. David M. Hooper, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, and the Utah Air National Guard Top 3. The evening was emceed by President of the Mess, Lt. Col Nate Nelson, and Mr. Vice, Master Sgt. Sterling Poulson.

From late arrivals to uniform snafus, the night exploded with infractions sending numerous Airmen to the grog bowl. But the evening only got better as General Hooper praised the attendees for their service and introduced the keynote speaker, Army Col. (retired) Reece Stein.

"If you look around, every organization here is significantly involved in the global war on terror," said General Hooper. "There's nothing that brings me greater satisfaction than working next to you in the Utah ANG."

General Hooper also had a brief awards ceremony to announce the Guard's annual award winners. Senior Airman Michael Crosby, 169th Intelligence Squadron, was presented Airman of the Year; Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Lauritzen, 169 IS, was presented Noncommissioned Officer of the Year; Master Sgt. Regina Campbell, 151st Operations Group, was presented Senior NCO of the Year; and Senior Master Sgt. Steven Schiele, 151st Maintenance Group, was awarded First Sergeant of the Year.

After the presentation, Colonel Stein took the podium and ran through a whirlwind video presentation of his life in the Utah National Guard as well as his experiences as a news reporter. From serving on the Korean DMZ, to covering wildlife stories, Colonel Stein spoke of an exciting life as both a military and civilian writer/reporter.

"They say I had the greatest job in the world [as an outdoor reporter]," said Colonel Stein, "But the best was when I was a public information officer in the Utah National Guard."

Colonel Stein described his experiences covering a disabled deer hunter in Southern Utah, working as a National Guardsman in Thailand with medical personnel, working with wildlife as an outdoor reporter, and talked about his popular weekly program, "Roughin' It Outdoors," on KUTV.