03/01/07 — Pabst honored as top Junior Civilian at SJAFB

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Pabst honored as top Junior Civilian at SJAFB

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 1, 2007 1:50 PM

Bradley Pabst was not always a civilian -- during his four-year stint in the Air Force, he was stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, working in the calibration lab on weapons systems and other equipment.

When he decided to leave the military life behind, he never would have guessed he would one day come back to work at the base out of the fatigues and leave his mark in 4th Fighter Wing history.

"I was just overjoyed to come back," he said. "Just being allowed to come to work and support these great people and their mission, it's rewarding."

Pabst was recently named 4th Fighter Wing Junior Civilian of the Year, a high honor given to a person whose involvement in the base and outside community goes above and beyond the call of duty.

He was admittedly shocked as he hoisted the trophy -- a simple eagle on top of a wooden block.

"It's a huge honor," he said. "I was surprised."

He was surprised because he had no idea that his service was being noticed.

During a training trip in Mississippi he volunteered to help Hurricane Katrina victims. Back in Wayne County, he helps out at Eastern Wayne Elementary School, Relay for Life, church groups and local PTAs.

Service has just always been a part of Pabst's life, he said.

"My parents, they've been community-oriented from the beginning," he said. "I think we can all be the kind of people who really drive this community forward."

You want to give back in a town like this, he added.

"I love Goldsboro. One thing I know is that this community is unbelievable," Pabst said. "I've actually been in restaurants and seen people shaking military hands just because of what they do. It's just a special place to live."

So he will represent it and the 4th Fighter Wing proudly today, as he travels to South Carolina for another awards banquet -- this time, his name being called would mean the U.S. Air Force's top junior civilian award is coming back home with him.

"It's actually pretty overwhelming," Pabst said. "The fact that I get to represent our wing and this community, it's a lot of responsibility."

But with or without a victory, he can guarantee he will never lose sight of why he lives the way he does.

"I think it's more of a family community on this base," Pabst said. "I'm one of those fortunate people who loves what I do."