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South Point airman recognized for service

For 22 years Anthony Hanshaw has toured the world as a member of the Air Force. But no matter how far he goes from home, it’s the lessons of character he learned from the people in the Tri-State that he treasures.

“The thing I am proud of about that area is the kindness of the people from the Tri-State,” he said recently in a phone interview from Patrick Air Force Base. “That is what I remember when I am out doing something for someone. I fall back on that attitude of supporting your fellow man.”

Hanshaw, 40, went into the Air Force soon after graduating from South Point High in 1985.

He was playing softball one afternoon with an Air Force recruiter from Huntington when he decided to sign up.

“He said, ‘Hey, it is a great way to see some places out of the Tri-State,’” Hanshaw recalled.

And to hear him list the places where he’s been stationed, it sounds as if he got some good advice. The airman has been to Germany, the Azores, Korea, the Middle East, Belgium and Italy as well as bases in this country.

Since 2005, he has been stationed at the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base near Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Today he serves as a first sergeant for the enlisted men on the base. In fact, he recently received the First Sergeant of the Year 2007 award.

“A first sergeant works directly for a squadron or group commander,” he said. “It relates in the civilian world to human resources. When our members are deployed, we make sure the families are taken care of, make sure the air men are taken care of.”

Hanshaw hopes to continue to make a career out of the Air Force, retiring in four more years. His decision made as a high school graduate has brought many rewards, including watching the latest crop of recruits, he says.

“You get satisfaction when you see the folks enjoying the freedom back in the states. It is amazing these young men and women … watching their attitude … what they want to do and how badly they want to serve their country. It is amazing.”