Airman goes 'above and beyond' for others

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
Airmen strive to meet the core values of the Air Force. There are some Airmen however that naturally meet and go beyond the core values of integrity, excellence and service in their own lives.

One such Airman, Senior Airman Talbert Knepshield, a vehicle operator from the 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron, exemplifies the meaning of going beyond the call of duty as an opportunity presented itself for him to help someone in need by donating his own bone marrow.

It all started years before Airman Knepshield decided to join the Air Force. One day when he went to donate blood at a clinic he saw flyers to become a bone marrow donor for the Department of Defense Marrow Donor Center, and without hesitation he signed up.

"The reason I started the program was due to the fact that my mother was diagnosed and later passed away with cancer," Airman Knepshield said. "There are so many different factors involved in accepting bone marrow and since it was the last resort for my mother I thought that I too would donate for someone else in need."

Airman Knepshield received orders for a deployment to Camp Victory, Iraq, and had begun his pre-deployment training. It was during this training when he received a call from the DoD Marrow Donor Center confirming that Airman Knepshield matched a patient in the need of a bone marrow transplant for stem cells.

Since Airman Knepshield's deployment was a joint-service mission, it made the process of releasing him from his deployment even more difficult. Permission for his absence-of-duty was approved through his chain of command at Camp Victory. It was the combined effort of many services that allowed him to come back to the states to become a donor.

"There has been a lot of help from the Air Force allowing him to get back to the states," said 1st Lt. Paul Capon, 30th LRS vehicle operations section chief.. "This goes to show all of the different hoops the Air Force was willing to go through for one of its own."

Like the Air Force's willingness to help one of their own, Airman Knepshield wishes to help others by donating.

"Everybody has made this difficult process easy for me, and I am so grateful that I have good people around me to support me and help me do what I want to do," Airman Knepshield said. "I hope by donating, I will be able to prolong someone's life."

Airman Knepshield's character embodies the core values of the Air Force.

"Senior Airman Knepshield is the type of guy who is always looking for ways to better himself and others," said Tech. Sgt. Raul Molina, 30th LRS vehicle operations superintendant. "He doesn't only think about himself, he's the kind of person that will do whatever it takes to help others."

"Not only does this Airman have the stress of the deployment on his shoulders," added Lieutenant Capon. "But he is more than willing to come back to help someone in need."