Spotlight on Senior Airman Leo Piecuch
By Ross Larson, Westfield H.S. Intern, 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published January 10, 2009
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- Senior Airman Leo Piecuch works with one of the 104th Fighter Wings most crucial divisions - the Fire Department. Airman Piecuch is a two-year veteran in the Air Guard, and recently returned home from a deployment to Iraq.
He spent close to four-and-a-half months, deployed to the Baghdad International Airport. He spent his time protecting the airport against the threat of fires or other similar hazards. Returning home on 21 September, Airman Piecuch is very proud that he had such a chance to serve with the fellow airmen that were deployed there with him.
"The most challenging part of being a firefighter is all of the training, and that's where I get my drive from," says Airman Piecuch. He takes pride in the fact he made it through all of the firefighter schooling and other demanding courses he has taken. "I joined the Guard because of the great opportunities that it offers, and the fact of giving back to your country and your community. You also find out a lot about yourself and who you are."
Piecuch is a motivated individual who is as dedicated to his unit as he is keeping the mood upbeat and positive. "I enjoy having my own opinion and like to make it noticeable," he said. Aside from keeping everyone in high spirits, he enjoys using his free time to partake in various personal fitness activities such as weightlifting, football, and volleyball. He also spends time video gaming and watching sports.
Some long term goals that Airman Piecuch aspires to achieve include staying in the service for at least 20 years. In that time, he would like to become a Lieutenant and then a Captain or Chief. As a well-driven individual, his goals should be attained with ease and success.
As a side note, while spending time with Airman Piecuch and the members of the fire department I learned that the Fire Department has traditions, similar to those found in a fraternity. One tradition or "fire-house rule" that I found very interesting is that if a members image is found in a media publication they are required to purchase a meal: breakfast, lunch or dinner for their fellow firefighters on duty. For the sake of a friendship and in order to not be responsible for him buying Chinese food for a hungry firehouse we concealed his face in the photo within this article.