Airman in the Spotlight: Tech. Sgt. Bruce Andersen, vehicle operator

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Junhao Yu
  • 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs

The year is 1989 in the mountainous terrain of Guatemala. A young Soldier is delivering construction material for a humanitarian mission. Every day he drives he would see children sitting on the side of the road who don’t have much. Eventually, he and his fellow Soldiers would give away their Meals Ready-to-Eat or any food they have to the kids whenever they drive past them. Today is a bit different, because this is the last time he will drive along this road in the remote Guatemalan village. The school he helped build is near completion. The kids blocked off the road and halted the convoy and climbed onto the trucks. They aren’t leaving until they’ve hugged every Soldier in the line as they know this might be the last time. 

This is one of the many heartwarming stories Tech. Sgt. Bruce D. Andersen, a vehicle operator assigned to the 102nd Logistic Readiness Flight at Otis Air National Guard Base, said he often goes back to after 20 years of service in the Army and 10 years in the Air Force.

Andersen is always able to find positivity at work because he loves what he does. 

“I have no qualm helping anyone doing anything,” said Andersen.  “I like working as a team, and when there are things that need to get done, then it needs to get done.”

“Half the time, I’m in the office doing all the managerial stuff, writing lesson plans and keeping all the books,” said Andersen as he adjusts his glasses. “The other half of my job is out there dealing with all the vehicles.”

According to Andersen, a big part of his job requires him to handle heavy equipment, cargo movement and vehicle maintenance for the 102 LRF.

To Andersen, his job always has something new to keep him interested. 

 “It’s different every day,” said Andersen. “I never know what will hit me when I walk through the doors.”

Andersen explains that the job can send him anywhere. He could find himself at Hanscom Air Force Base one moment and Barnes Air National Guard Base the next. 

“There’s a surprise element,” Andersen said, with his brown eyes lit up. “I love working with vehicles and heavy equipment. Anything I can do to operate the forklift and the tractor trailer is fun!”

“I also get to interact with people here,” said Andersen. “It’s never boring around here.”

Andersen thinks that sometimes he even gets attached to the vehicles he maintains.

Andersen said it sometimes feels like  he owns the trucks assigned to him, as he brushes back his gray hair with his big knuckled fingers. “Everybody is assigned his own truck. You take care of it. You know the in’s and out’s of it. You maintained it. You fixed it. So it becomes yours.” 

Andersen’s positive attitude is well-known among his peers, as Master Sgt. Frederick D. Bumpus, the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Traffic Management Office assigned to the 102 LRF, explains about his co-worker.

“He’s always receptive to things we need him to do,” said Bumpus. “He’s always volunteering. He’s always got a smile on his face.”

According to Bumpus, the presence of Andersen in the shop brings everyone’s morale up no matter what. 

Andersen said he thinks by focusing on the task at hand helps him avoid negative thinking. To Andersen, the comradery of the service is what keeps his head up high everyday. He left the military briefly to work for the U.S. Postal Service only to find himself back in the service a few years later, where he feels most at home.