Air Guard officer hopes to help youth set their goals high

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • Print
139th Air Guard C-130 airplanes on a training mission/Photo courtesy of the Air National Guard

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

An officer with the Air National Guard 139th
Airlift Wing in St. Joseph hopes to inspire girls as well as boys to set their
sights high.

Colonel DeAnna Franks is Commandant of the Advanced Airlift
Tactics Training Center at Rosecrans Memorial Airport and hopes to walk the
crowd at the Air Show next year and talk to young people about flying and the
military.

“If I get a chance to talk to any little girl or any little
boy and I tell them I fly C-130s and I point to the plane and I tell them what
my career has been like and how I started just like them, loving airplanes, but
more importantly loving the Air Force,” Franks tells St. Joseph Post.

139th Air Guard, training mission/Photo courtesy of Air National Guard
139th Air Guard, training mission/Photo courtesy of Air National Guard

The Sound of Speed Air Show is set for May at Rosecrans
Memorial Airport, featuring the Air Force Thunderbirds.

Franks is hopeful COVID-19 concerns will be lowered enough by
the time of the Air Show to allow her to walk the crowd in her flight suit and
talk with girls and boys.

“That’s the connection that is just so precious that I really
enjoy and you can just see their eyes really open and get excited, but you have
to take just that little extra 30 seconds and give that attention,” according
to Franks. “Once you give somebody 30 seconds of attention, they’re pretty bought
in. So, it’s awesome.”

Franks has had quite a career.

She transitioned in 2007 from active duty to serving in the
Air Force Reserve at Pope Field in North Carolina. Franks trained cadets at the
Air Force Academy and advised Air Force brass on teaming with foreign
militaries in multinational operations. She served for a time at the Pentagon.

Franks anticipates the Sound of Speed Air Show in May will be
just the thing area residents need after coping with COVID-19 this year.

“It’s exciting. It’s patriotic. It’s fun,” Franks says. “And
the families just love it, too.”

Col. DeAnna Franks with her daughter at the 2018 Air Show/Photo courtesy of the Air National Guard
Col. DeAnna Franks with her daughter at the 2018 Air Show/Photo courtesy of the Air National Guard