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Chris Arenz: 115th Fighter Wing played positive role in my life

Dear Editor: As a longtime resident of Madison, I would like to share the opportunity the 115th Fighter Wing has provided me.

I grew up on the east side of Madison, next to Eastmorland Park right behind Woodman’s. My father was a math teacher at Schenk Middle School and my mother was a cashier at Copps Grocery store. I attended Schenk and then La Follette High School, graduating in 1986. I received my undergraduate degree from UW-Madison.

I flew with the 115th FW part time as I pursued my career in business — a path that was fully supported by the Guard leadership. I also took two years off my flying duties to pursue a graduate degree and received my MBA — and was welcomed back to the 115th. Balance and personal improvement was always a tenet of the Guard.

During my tenure at the 115th but outside of my Guard duties, I was able to translate my military leadership training into several leadership roles in both local and national companies. I now help my wife run her executive recruiting firm based here in Madison and employing 20 people. I attribute my success in business to the dynamic problem-solving, supervision and leadership skills I was given during my time at Truax Field. I hope the new F-35 mission at Truax Field will open opportunities for local aspirational young men and women of future generations to come.

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