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Tanker Serviceman Surprises Daughter

By Glenn Moore

July 23, 2018 - Hailey Lawrence was touring the convention grounds when she spotted a plane with a familiar tail. Looking closer, Hailey realized that it bore the 128th logo for the Air National Guard tanker her father worked on. He was supposed to be in Israel, but because factors changed, Master Sgt. Kelly Lawrence was able to be a part of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 and surprise his daughter.

Hailey had not seen him since Father’s Day and enjoyed a double reunion, with both her father and the Boeing KC-135. She had grown up with tankers, often visiting her father’s air force base. Hailey stated her delight at seeing the aircraft again, “Going inside of it yesterday was pretty nostalgic.” Hailey’s father introduced her to aviation. As a child, the sergeant kindled an interest by taking her to air shows.

Currently, Hailey works at EAA as a communications intern where she has gained an appreciation for the variety of people who take part in AirVenture. Hailey has seen individuals from as far away as Germany and Australia.

As part of the event, Hailey appreciates the impressive scale of the collaboration, “It’s interns, staff, and volunteers all working together. The convention isn’t just an Oshkosh event; people are connected from all over the world. It’s really cool that the community comes together like that,” she said. Among the plethora of upcoming events, Hailey plans on attending all related to the tanker, “not as an intern, but as a supportive daughter.”

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