The People's Tribune

Austin Winegardner Named Air Force Instructor Of The Year

The Committee of Fifty honored Tech. Sgt. Austin Winegardner, an instructor supervisor at the Air Force Pavement and Equipment School on U.S. Army Fort Leonard Wood, as the Instructor of the Year for the 1st Engineer Brigade.

Master Sgt. Wayne Tokarz, the flight chief for Winegardner, said “I’ve been at quite a few installations in my 19 years in the Air Force and the outpouring of support here from the community means a lot.”

Tokarz said Winegardner has spent about three years at Fort Leonard Wood and nearly 10 in the military.

Sgt. Winegardner is a true professional; he exudes professionalism in all he does.”

Winegardner said his time at Fort Leonard Wood was his first in the military stationed in the United States.

He also remarked, “Since I’ve been in the service I’ve been overseas the whole time, the support this community provides not only to me but to every servicemember is really unprecedented.”

Winegardner complimented the local leadership.

“Waynesville and St. Robert would not be what it is without you providing essential services to myself and other servicemembers.”

Winegardner received a presentations of gifts from Committee of Fifty members.

State Rep. Steven Lynch said to Winegardner,”So many of you retire here and make this community what it is today.”

Austin is married to the former Kelsey Hays of Vandalia and they are the parents of two children, Grayson and Lillian. He is the grandson of Claudie and Donna Tipton of Farber and a 2006 graduate of Van-Far High School.

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