Story by Senior Airman Tristan D. Viglianco
Michigan National Guard
Q. Why did you join the Michigan Air National Guard?A. I have always had an interest in the military. I actually started out at ROTC at Western Michigan, but that didn’t work out for me. Then I learned there was a Guard base 15 minutes away from where my parents lived, so I checked it out. I went through the process and felt like it was a way for me to get into the military and I have loved every second of it. Q. How long have you been on the COVID mission?A. I have been on the COVID mission since May 1st. A majority of us have been on orders since the beginning of May. Q. How do you feel about getting to do the COVID mission?A. This is a really unique opportunity. The whole point of being in the Guard is that we serve the federal government and the state. Trying to give back to the state and local community is the other half of the Guard. It feels really good to do that. Q. How is it working with a team made up from people in different units?A. It is really great to work with people from different units. It is cool to hear about other people’s jobs and what their life is like. I get to work full-time with people who I have grown really close with. Q. What are some things you have learned since being on this mission?A. I have learned the importance of engaging with the community. Making people feel comfortable, especially with the pandemic, is important. Being able to engage is an important skill to have. Being able to work with different agencies is another thing I have learned. We coordinate with the Army, work with local health departments, and work with local police. This is an interagency task force and we have to work together for the people of Michigan. Q. What has been your favorite thing about being on this mission?A. My favorite thing is working with a phenomenal team. We have grown really close. When we are not working during the day we still hang out after hours. We get to work together, interact with the community, and help out the state.
Hometown: Pontiac, Michigan
Unit and Job Title: 217th Air Component Operations Squadron intelligence analyst