The top recruiter in the U. S Air Force lives right here in Chattanooga.
And that's just one of the many accomplishments of Sgt. Thomas Sinkewicz III during his 15-year career.
News 12's Nordia Epps has his story.
A look around the office of Sgt. Thomas Sinkewicz the third...shows the rewards of his exciting 15-year career in the US Air Force.
The Connecticut native signed up on August 27, 1997 at 21 years old.
And it's been nothing like he expected.
Sgt. Thomas Sinkewicz, US Air Force, "I don't know what I thought when I first came in, but it's been an eye-opening experience. I've been able to travel and see the world."
The Sergeant spent 13 years in Security Forces...going to England, Africa, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq...three times.
Sgt. Sinkewicz, "That was very rewarding because you got to see the effect that you had on the Iraqi people and it was very, very nice to know that they did want us there and that they did appreciate what we were doing to help them, you know, have an infrastructure, and a lot of people really don't understand that they did want us there"
But it's his mission state-side that stands out most in his memory...guarding Air Force One and flying the president and first lady Bush.
Sgt. Sinkewicz, "Let's just say the first time I got to walk into the hangar and see the plane and just what it was like, it was a feeling of pride and overwhelming, 'Wow! I'm here doing something, as you said, not very many people get to do. It was definitely an event in my career that was one in a million."
Now, Sgt. Sinkewicz is in the middle of a four-year assignment as a recruiter right here in Chattanooga.
And he just earned a national honor.
Sgt. Sinkewicz, "I recently won recruiter of the year for the whole entire Air Force. That's just 'cause of the quality of the men and women that I'm putting in."
He signed up 36 recruits last year...but says they're more than just numbers.
Sgt. Sinkewicz, "My kids are my family. For military members, it's all about camaraderie and unfortunately I'm not near a base here in Chattanooga, but because I have my young men and women that I'm putting in, they really do become my family. I'm actually going to be the best man in one of my young men's wedding and it's an honor to be asked and that they think of me in that way."
Today we salute, Sgt. Sinkewicz and thank him for his service...recognition that's welcomed.
Sgt. Sinkewicz, "It's incredibly important. Just the fact that people are taking the time to remember what we've been through and the history involved. We can't ever forget where we came from and unfortunately, I think that's a problem these days, so the fact that you're doing this is greatly appreciated and it means a lot to me and my family and for the community."