184th LRS servant-leader rallies help for coworker’s family

 

Staff Sgt. Brent Andra, vehicle maintenance mechanic, 184th Logisitcs Readiness Squadron, repairs and maintiains engine components on one of the vehicles assigned to the 184th Intelligence Squadron, McConnell Air Force Base, Apr. 26. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt McCoy)

By Master Sgt. Matt McCoy, 184th Public Affairs

“That’s just what Andra does,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jim Helms, superintendent, Vehicle Management, and the senior enlisted person in the 184th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “He’s that guy that’s going to be there first; he’s going to stay there until he’s the last one there. He’s going to do what he’s supposed to do and he doesn’t give it a second thought. That’s his character.”

Helms was talking about Staff Sgt. Brent Andra, vehicle maintenance mechanic, 184th LRS.

In late March, Andra formed an 11-man team to help his coworker’s family move into their first new home. His coworker, Senior Airman Carlos Garcia, was three months into a four-month technical school in California, leaving his wife and her sister to plan the move, pack everything and transport it all to the new house.

“I asked him how it was going with the closing process and he told me that his wife and her sister were going to move their stuff,” said Andra. “I told him to just let us know and we’ll put something together and come help them.”

Andra knew where he could get help.

Andra is part of a tightknit group that works in the Vehicle Management section within his squadron. He helped the Garcia’s get a real estate agent but they were still looking at houses when Carlos departed for training in January.

When the Garcia’s settled on a house, Andra sent an email to his squadron and, without hesitation, people arrived ready to help.

“We had 11 folks, eight trucks and a trailer,” said Helms. “We moved a whole house; that means starting, loading, travelling and unloading, in probably an hour-and-forty-five minutes. It was pretty quick.”

Eleven members of the 184th Logistics Readiness Squadron arrived at Senior Airman Carlos Garcia’s residence with eight trucks and a trailer to help his wife and her sister move into their new house in late March. Garcia was away at technical training during the move which prompted his Air National Guard family to help take care of things at home. (Photo provided by Chief Master Sgt. Jim Helms)

“He didn’t ask for help, I just offered,” said Andra. “I said there’s no point in your wife and her sister trying to move everything.”

The Garcia’s were grateful. Mrs. Garcia made a big lunch for the helpers and they all stuck around to eat and visit with the family.

Although Andra was happy to help, he said he didn’t think his actions deserved praise.

“I just felt like it was the right thing to do,” said Andra. “I didn’t want him to worry about coming home and then trying to move. I just wanted him to come home and hang out with his family for a few weeks before having to come back to work. I just wanted to help him out.”

Helms saw something more.

“We’re always talking about taking care of our wingmen and I think this is a perfect example of that,” said Helms. “It’s pretty cool that we have a guy on our team that thinks like that. That makes me feel good, not only as a chief, but as a person just to be associated and be around a person like that.”

“When you have people of that caliber in your organization, there’s no wonder why we’re so successful like we are,” said Helms. “There are good people down here in LRS.”

Garcia graduated the vehicle mechanic technical school on Apr. 18. He transferred from the Services Flight, 184th Force Support Squadron, to the 184th Logistics Readiness Squadron in August 2016.