Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Cambodia.

June 6: Meeting the Team

Posted in Cambodia on June 6, 2014

The selection process for picking the cadets that would have the rare honor and privilege of traveling with me (or torture and woe, depending upon your perspective) was quite in-depth. I sent out invitations to hundreds of cadets across all majors and the trip was also publicized by the Academy's Int'l Programs office (DFIP). I received dozens of applications and narrowed the field down to about a dozen before conducting interviews. What do I look for in an interview? A sparkle in the eyes, curiosity, flexibility, and a desire to get outside of one's comfort zone to experience new things. I don't travel with picky eaters or people that like to sleep in and treat a once-in-a-lifetime adventure like it's "vacation." I don't need to travel with high-maintenance people that insist on things like clean, fresh clothes every day and 24/7 air-conditioning. And, frankly, I need people that I think can make good judgments, stay out of trouble, keep me out of trouble, are enthusiastic about making friends wherever they are. Having successfully led four other cadet trips (China, Rwanda/Uganda/Ethiopia, Trans-Siberian/Mongolian Railway, and an unofficial winter trip to the Baltic) with only minor casualties, I think I have some clue what makes a good traveler...

I think I've hit the jackpot with this year's travel group. Here's some info on each:

C1C Dylan Montana Juedeman is an Aeronautical Engineering major from Alamogordo, New Mexico with a variety of personal interests, including botany, entomology, geology, paleontology, and humanism. Actively involved in various clubs, he is the squadron commander of USAFA’s Arnold Air Society squadron, volunteers with the STEM club and at animal shelters, builds and flies RC planes with the Model Engineering Club, and has designed and built high-power rockets with the USAFA Rocket Society. C2C Juedeman strives to become a pilot for the Air Force, and travel the world to experience Earth’s diverse cultures and geography.

C2C Hansena R. Vangen is a small town farm girl from rural Wisconsin. She participated in sports and clubs in high school, milked cows on the weekend, graduated as valedictorian and then came to the Academy. Since being here, She has continued her love for music by playing the euphonium in Drum and Bugle Corps and participating in Blue Bards, earned her jump wings, learned how to ski, and ran the Falcon 50 Miler Ultra-Marathon. She is a Foreign Area Studies with a focus on Africa and wants to be an Intelligence officer after graduation.

C2C Anne Von Seggern hails from League City, TX. She moved 11 times in her life, including to SHAPE, Belgium and Heidelberg, Germany. This experience abroad provided her the opportunity to be immersed in different cultures and draw from new perspectives. In her travels, she learned to speak French, German, and Spanish. She is currently studying Russian at the Academy and is Political Science major with emphasis on international relations. She hopes to utilize her language skills in service to her nation as a United States Air Force officer.

C2C Lucas Stensberg is from the North Shore of Chicago and attended New Trier High School where he had a radio show with a friend and ran Track and Cross-Country. He is an active member of the cadet Freethinkers Club and enjoys playing team handball—a totally new sport for him. He also loves to go out snowboarding on the weekends. Lucas is a Geosciences major and hopes to go to pilot training after graduation.

Marty France
USAFA Faculty Chaperone & DWC Volunteer
June 2014

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