North Dakota National Guard honors airmen with award ceremony
"These amazing airmen, you just feel so humble that they're doing these great things at such a young age and what kind of jobs they do at such an early age and part of their careers.
FARGO. N.D. (KVRR) — The 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard is recognizing airmen for going above and beyond in the line of duty.
“The incredible work that our soldiers and airmen do everyday, year in and year out, as they say in North Dakota, always ready always there and that really comes through representative here when we talk about the Woody Keeble award,” North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said.
The award is dedicated to someone who embodies the spirit of bravery and is named in honor of the U.S. Army National Guard combat veteran Woody Keeble.
“This is one of our highest awards, it’s an award that we commissioned not that long ago to be our state equivalent of a soldier or an airman’s medal,” Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. National Guard adjutant general said.
“Technical sergeant Ryan Fontaine embodies the spirit of the Woody Keeble award in his selfless acts and exemplified the courage and professionalism that we know and have come to expect from our North Dakota National Guard members,” said Burgum.
Other members of the North Dakota National Guard were also honored at the ceremony for their hard work and dedication throughout the past year.
“These amazing airmen, you just feel so humble that they’re doing these great things at such a young age and what kind of jobs they do at such an early age and part of their careers. So it makes me feel very proud to be their state command chief and be the voice for them,” 119th Wing ND Air National Guard State Command Chief Duane Kangas said.
“I was nominated for the 2020 Airmen of the Year Award. Basically this award encompasses who is going to go the extra mile throughout the day and throughout their career. Who’s going to put the Air force first. It was my hard work and determination to always saying yes to opportunities,” 119th Wing ND Air National Guard Aerospace Medical Technician Laura Biewer said.
Some of those opportunities came from a time of desperate need.
“I got put on COVID orders, so all summer I was able to give back to the community and due COVID testing. That’s why I joined in the first place because I want to help and I want to put a good face for the military,” Biewer said.
A total of 15 airmen were honored at the ceremony and five were given awards for their dedication and hard work.