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Air Force Wounded Warrior takes flight with Thunderbirds

By Senior Airman Stormy Archer | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Nov. 2, 2017


Air Force Master Sgt. Benjamin Seekell, Wounded Warrior and 343rd Training Squadron security forces apprentice course flight chief, flew with the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” Nov. 2 at JBSA-Kelly Field.

The flight gave Seekell the opportunity to experience the precision flying of the Thunderbirds firsthand.

“When I think of the Thunderbirds, it takes me back 12 years to when I enlisted for the first time,” said Seekell. “I gave my first oath of enlistment at an air show with the Thunderbirds.

“They showcase military precision, which I’m a big fan of as an instructor; along with their dedication to what they do and the pride they take in their job. I relate to that on a lot of levels and I’m really excited to just be a part of it.”

During a 2011 deployment to Afghanistan, Seekell, who served as a military working dog handler at the time from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, was injured in an improvised explosive device attack and lost his left leg.

“Master Sgt. Seekell is hugely inspirational in how he’s dealt with everything he’s gone through,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, Thunderbird #7 and the team's operations officer. “Everything he has done has been an inspiration, not just to Airmen, but to everyone. Taking somebody like him up for a flight extra is special for all of us.”

The Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform at the JSBA Air Show and Open House Nov. 4-5 at JBSA-Kelly Field.

For more information on the JBSA Air Show and Open House visit https://jbsaairshow.com/ and follow JBSA on Facebook and Twitter.