TRUAX FIELD, Wis. --
Truax Field has a great deal of military history; from being an Active Army Air Base in 1942, to being Truax Air Force Base from 1952 to 1967 and now being a part of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, there is a lot of monumental military culture to be found here.
For Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Torres, the fuels small section shop chief at the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, Arizona, Truax Field happens to be a unique part of his family history.
With the opportunity to TDY to the Czech Republic or Madison, Torres chose Madison to see where his father began his Air Force enlistment and bring closure to his own 36 year Air Force career.
"My dad always talked about Madison, the people, the food, the culture, and how it is such a beautiful city,” said Torres. “When I got notified that I would be retiring I didn’t see any better fit and closure than to see what he had always talked about.”
Previously units would stay at Volk Field Air National Guard Base during the Northern Lightning Exercise but this year the 162nd was fortunate enough to stay at Truax Field.
“Arizona’s F-16 Fighting Falcons are here due to the amount of aircraft up at Volk Field this year,” said Senior Airman Ryan Kramer, a crew chief with the 115th Fighter Wing. “We have the space for them to stay here and it’s just as easy for them to fly up with our F-16s.”
While the 162nd was here as part of the Northern Lightning 18-2 Exercise that took place at Volk Field, Torres was still able to experience the city and some of the experiences his father had years ago.
“My father had mentioned taking trips on the weekend to Chicago while he was based here, so my family and I had to take a little road trip to experience that as well,” Torres said. “We followed the footsteps of the past trying to do everything my father had, from Chicago Dogs to the famous Wisconsin cheese curds.”
With all the daily activities to do in Madison, Torres’ wife and son were able to come along for this unique family history experience and have plenty of entertainment during the duty day.
“My wife loved all the biking and running trails that you guys have around the lakes,” said Torres. “We will definitely be coming back here in the future.”
While getting out and seeing new places is always fun, tracing the steps of the past can be a life changing experience whether you have family in the military or not.
“I highly encourage any Airmen or guardsmen to take a step back and see where you come from,” said Torres. “You’ll learn a lot about yourself, your family, and the Air Force.”