Wade Vakulik is an instructor for the Oklahoma College of Construction. He is also in the Air National Guard. In July of 2006 they activated him and he spent six months in Iraq as a construction equipment superintendent. Anyone that has family that is over in Iraq knows just how difficult it is for them to be away from their loved ones and their jobs. I hate to say it, but the salary of an active duty air national guard member does not pay the bills and they have to get paid. Not only that but like a lot of people that get called up, he was extremely worried about whether he was going to be able to keep his job or not. The folks at OCC came through and told him he would be able to keep his job. Being very appreciative of what the Oklahoma Construction Company was doing he had this to say:

“I wanted to bring something back for the OCC and NAHETS from Iraq that
would truly be an honor to hang on the wall, not just the normal little
trinkets that one can purchase at the Base Exchange. I am truly
grateful for the OCC and NAHETS for understanding my situation…As a
result they helped to contribute to the freedom and security of the
United States of America and the Iraqi people.”

While he was there he purchased a flag and gave it to the Blue Wolves, 25th Infantry Division Aviation Brigade. The Blue Wolves are an Apache Attack Helicopter Squadron. They flew the flag in an AH-64D Apache on a combat mission especially for Wade and OCC, which he has presented to the college. Check out the press release:

As of June 2005, Wade Vakulick was an Instructor for the Oklahoma
College of Construction (OCC). In August of the same year, he was
appointed Chief Instructor. A year later…he was in Iraq.

In July of 2006, Wade was contacted by his Air National Guard unit.
They notified him that he was to be involuntarily activated to assist
in Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom. He was in Iraq for 6 months.

Wade’s duty in Iraq was construction equipment operator, as well as
project superintendent of the U.S. Army Iraqi Theater of Operations
construction projects on COB Speicher. Before his deployment in Iraq,
Wade was activated in October of 2006, spent four weeks at Ft. McCoy in
Wisconsin to do combat training, and then was deployed to Kuwait.

It was difficult for Wade to be away from his home and family for those 6 months, as it is for all who serve overseas.

He also was concerned about what would happen with his employment
while he was gone. When he learned that he would be able to remain
employed at the OCC when he returned, he wanted to do something special
for the college in order to show appreciation for its support of him
being in Iraq. He said:

“I wanted to bring something back for the OCC and NAHETS from Iraq
that would truly be an honor to hang on the wall, not just the normal
little trinkets that one can purchase at the Base Exchange. I am truly
grateful for the OCC and NAHETS for understanding my situation…As a
result they helped to contribute to the freedom and security of the
United States of America and the Iraqi people.”

While Wade was serving on Coalition Operating Base (COB) near
Tikrit, Iraq, he was able to purchase an American Flag. He gave this
flag to the Apache Attack Helicopter Squadron “Blue Wolves”, 25
Infantry Division Aviation Brigade. The Blue Wolves had the highest
kill ratio of any attack helicopter squadron in Iraq. The Blue Wolves
were able to fly the flag in an AH-64D Apache helicopter on an actual
combat mission over the skies of Iraq especially for the Oklahoma
College of Construction and the National Association of Heavy Equipment
Training Schools (NAHETS). Regarding the event Wade said that “This
flag is a one of a kind tribute to a one of a kind company. The flag is
a thank you for the support that was shown to my family and me by the
OCC and NAHETS during my 8 months away from work.”

Now Wade is back from Iraq and is the Business Relations Director for the Oklahoma College of Construction.

The OCC is a member college of The National Association of Heavy
Equipment Training Schools (www.nahets.com). NAHETS aims to fill the
needs of heavy equipment operators across the country. With
professional training, education, certification, and job placement
assistance, NAHETS graduates are qualified to operate equipment
anywhere in the country-and on occasion when you are deployed to
Iraq-outside of the country as well.

People like Wade Vakulick are the ones that make this country great and The National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools (NAHETS) like the Oklahoma Construction Company that support our heroes show the true meaning of being an American. Even when I post a sponsored article like this one I enjoy getting to learn about our unsung heroes and feel proud to be an American. I have a nephew in Iraq right now, and unless the war suddenly end my son will most likely be there before spring if not the end of the year. The bravery that these men show is boundless and we should do all that we can as American citizens to support and embrace our boys in the military and the people who support them.

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