Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. Awards Aviation Scholarship to Cochise College Student

September 22, 2020 – Scottsdale, AZ

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Barragan AwardThunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. (“TB2”) announced it has awarded an Aviation Scholarship to Michael Barragan, a Cochise College (“CC”) student pursuing an Associate of Professional Pilot Technology degree. TB2 is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving the history of aviation in Scottsdale, Arizona, honoring all military veterans and creating unique educational opportunities for Arizona students studying all aspects of aviation.

Mr. Barragan served in the U. S. Air Force (“USAF”) after high school and earned the rank of Senior Airman E-4 and Crew Chief for the A-10 Thunderbolt (aka “Warthog”). His last active duty station assignment was at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. Michael has a strong interest to become an A-10 pilot and eventually become a commercial airline pilot. Along with a full class load and carrying an impressive GPA, he also continues to serve the USAF in the Active Reserve.

Steve Ziomek, Chairman and President of TB2, said, “Michael is the first Cochise College recipient of the TB2 Aviation Scholarship. Michael’s dedication to his studies, aviation and the USAF exemplifies his worthiness of this prestigious honor.”

Rudy R. Miller, Chairman of TB2’s Advisory Board & Scholarship Committee, stated, “It is a privilege to announce, in concert with our President, Board of Directors, and donors/sponsors, that Michael is our fifth Aviation Scholarship recipient in the past 10 months. We anticipate announcing our next scholarship honoree selection within the next 2 months. As a former member of the military, I am extremely proud of the praiseworthy qualities Michael has displayed and his commitment to his country!”

Barragan A10“CC is pleased that TB2 has joined in supporting its mission of providing accessible educational opportunities that lead to constructive citizenship, meaningful careers and lifelong learning,” said Denise Hoyos, Executive Director of College Advancement. “The TB2 Aviation Scholarship will go a long way toward helping a student achieve his or her dreams.”

Belinda Burnett, Director of Aviation Programs, CC, commented, “I have had the pleasure of working with Michael Barragan in his private pilot ground school training and as he works toward completion of his Private Pilot Certification. I have no doubt Mr. Barragan will achieve all of his goals and have a lasting impact on the aviation community.”

Michael Barragan’s TB2’s scholarship award was sponsored by Systems Integrated Plus, Inc. (“SIP”), represented by Gunnar Buzzard, Chief Executive Officer-President and Pat Riordan, Chief Operating Officer-Vice President. SIP has supported charity and community service organizations in the Valley of the Sun for over 20 years. Mr. Buzzard is a former U.S. Navy pilot and USAF pilot, and a member of TB2 Board of Directors.

Systems Integrated Plus, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, designs, builds and deploys computer, electronic and radar systems for the defense, aerospace, heavy industrial and research markets. SIP’s engineering and design teams are recognized for their technology innovations and the ability to deliver complex and critical systems to assure mission readiness and project execution. For more information, please visit

About Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc.

Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. During World War II, an airfield named Thunderbird Field II was built for the sole purpose of training U.S. Army Air Corps pilots in 1942. Thunderbird Field II graduated over 5,500 men and women pilots of who many saw military action in Europe and the Pacific. The field and school were deactivated on October 16, 1944, sold to Arizona State Teachers College (ASU), then to the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and finally to the City of Scottsdale in 1966 and is now known as Scottsdale Airport (SDL).

The Aviation Scholarship Program provides scholarships to veteran and non-veteran Arizona resident students who meet specific criteria and are attending Arizona State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Cochise College, Pima Community College or Yavapai College. TB2 has a permanent memorial at the entrance of the Scottsdale Airport, honoring the service men and women of the nation's five armed services: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Air Force, as well as POW-MIAs. For more information, please visit