Remember those days when you were a kid? You would come home from school and your parents would ask “what did you learn today?” Some days I would be filled with information to share. What we learned in science. Who I had issues with on the playground. Oh, by the way, we need a dozen cookies tomorrow for a bake sale. Important stuff…right?
Then there were other days when that same question would get a one or two word answer. Nothing, or not much. Those answers usually prompted follow up questions like “Is something wrong? Do we need to talk?” Soon you learned that rather than field an additional 2-3 questions, it was best to give an affirmative answer of your daytime activities.
Now we are older. School is behind us (well actually quite a way behind us), and we have a career. In my case, I am a journalist, someone who loves to research a topic and write an article to share with readers of the Northern Sentry. When people find out that I write for the Northern Sentry, I usually field a number of questions about the Minot Air Force Base. I can’t answer a lot of these questions because I don’t have access to the information to give an educated answer.
If I don’t know an answer, I will usually write myself a note to ask someone about the topic the next time I am on base. Yeah, if you don’t know, just ask someone. Easier said than done, my friends. The Minot Air Force Base is a pretty large place and finding the right person to ask is sometimes a difficult task.
Still, I am not one to be discouraged. I figure keep asking and eventually you will find the right person with the right answer. Albeit the answer may be as simple as “that’s classified information”, it is an answer. Or in one case I was asked how many missiles doe Minot Air Force Base manage? Pretty easy, 150. And this is where I can have one of those days where I give them more than what they asked (or bargained) for. I am able to expound that there is one missile wing, the 91st Missile Wing, with three missile squadrons on the Minot Air Force Base. If they still look interested, I can talk about the approximate range of the missile silos. If I get that glazed over look in the eyes, I stop with my information session. Truth is, I have been working for the Northern Sentry for over three years. Before that I worked for KMOT TV. In both of those capacities I covered the Minot Air Force Base and have loved every minute of my time reporting on the men and women who have chosen to serve their country in the U.S. Air Force. My best stories from my time as a journalist covering Minot AFB? Where do I start? I was chosen to fly on a B-52 as a photojournalist. I have been on tours of the Minuteman III missile silos. I have stood on the flightline with a video camera recording B-52’s taking off side by side. I truly have been blessed to have had the experiences that I wished I could share as a real life moment with all of you.
Instead, I do my best to cover events with written stories and photos. I am given the pleasure of covering several events every week.
Those questions about Minot Air Force Base? Well keep them coming. Normally when I find the answer, I also find a story just waiting to be told. My Dad used to say that when you stop learning, you stop living. Honestly, I hope I have a lot of living left to do, because right now I have the best job I have ever had. Thanks to owner Ted Bolton and the Northern Sentry for presenting me with a challenge almost every day of my life. That challenge? Make sure I write the very best stories about Minot Air Force Base, and the men and women who serve and protect us, 24/7.
Best Kept Secrets
There is a walking/biking path that pretty much surrounds Lake Metigoshe in the Turtle Mountains. We normally start our biking journey on the path around Lake Metigoshe State Park. Doesn’t make any difference which way you go, as you end up back where you started, eventually. Just a bit of a warning, take along drinking water. Some of the stretches could end up being against the wind, and you don’t want to end up dehydrated.
He who hesitates is…uh…let me see…oh, forget it.