Friday, August 29, 2008

TOP STORY >> C-130 twins retire after 20 years

By Airman Rochelle Clace
314th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Twin brothers Lt. Col. Thomas Anderson, former 714th Training Squadron commander, and Lt. Col. Timothy Anderson, 50th Airlift Squadron commander, retired together Aug. 15, with their older brother, Col. David Anderson, chief of the A-1 Strategic Plans Division, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force Plans and Integration Directorate at Washington, D.C., as the presiding officer of the ceremony.

Besides serving together at Little Rock Air Force Base, the Andersons have crossed paths throughout their careers. The twins were first stationed together at Dyess AFB, Texas, from 1989 to 1993, where they were deployed together in Operation Desert Storm. Later, they were both stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, from 1999 to 2000. They were then assigned, to Little Rock AFB, with Lt. Col. Timothy Anderson arriving in 2003, and Lt. Col. Thomas Anderson arriving in 2005.

“Being stationed together, it was nice knowing family was close by in case you needed support,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Anderson, former C-130 navigator. At one point the Anderson family had seven active-duty service members. With the retirement of the twins, the only current active-duty member is Col. David Anderson.

Though never feeling pressured by their father, James Anderson, the twins said their desire to honor his legacy played a large factor in their decision to join the Air Force together.

“Our dad instilled a sense of service when we were growing up, and we just followed his example,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Anderson. Not only did the twins join to honor their family legacy; they also felt a strong desire to serve their country.
“It seemed like a career that would provide a lot of pride in service. Then the opportunity to fly was just icing on the cake,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Anderson. Though beneficial for the twins, being stationed together caused confusion for others because of their similar appearance. The brothers recall one humorous experience while they were stationed together at Dyess AFB.
“We were there for four years together; about three years into that assignment, the [hairstylist] at the barber shop finally realized there were two of us,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Anderson. “The only way she figured it out was because Tommy got his hair cut before lunch, and I got my hair cut after lunch one day.”

“She said she had never seen anyone’s hair grow so fast that he needed a hair cut every week,” joked Lt. Col. Thomas Anderson, a former C-130 pilot.

After 20 years of military service together, the twin brothers will take their experiences they have encountered throughout the years into new chapters of their lives. Lt. Col. Timothy Anderson plans on using his military experience to help teach a new generation of C-130 airlifters, and Lt. Col. Thomas Anderson will pursue a position in an aviation or operations-related career field.

“The military provides you an opportunity; it’s up to the individual to want and realize it,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Anderson. “You should serve to your best capacity based on what your motivations are for serving, whether it’s pride of country or pride of service. I just feel very thankful I had an opportunity to serve for 20 years, because with what the Air Force provided me, you just can’t put a price tag on as far as education, camaraderie and some of the great people you meet along the way.”

The twins spent the last three years stationed here together where they closed out 20 years of dedicated service to begin new chapters.


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