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.
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.”