January 23, 2020 – Scottsdale, AZ
Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial, Inc. (“TB2”) announced its first 2020 Aviation Scholarship has been awarded to Christopher Awes, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (“ERAU”) student who earned a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics. 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.
Christopher Awes served in the United States Marine Corps (“USMC”) for 8 years. While supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, he served outside the continental United States during 2 deployments. He was honorably discharged in 2016 at the rank of Staff Sergeant. His job was Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician and he received the USMC Naval Achievement Medal. In 2019, Christopher graduated from ERAU with a 4.0 GPA, Outstanding Graduate Award for the Bachelor of Science Aeronautics Degree Program and Summa Cum Laude. His ratings include single and multi-engine airplane and rotorcraft (helicopter) and he has recently been hired as a flight instructor at ERAU. During his academics, he was a member in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Student Veterans Organization.
Steve Ziomek, Chairman and President of TB2, stated, “Christopher Awes is an exceptional recipient of the TB2 Aviation Scholarship Award. His academic merit, military service and passion for aviation are commendable. As a veteran and pilot myself, I know this young man will excel in the aviation industry.”
Rudy R. Miller, Chairman of TB2 Advisory Board and Scholarship Committee, remarked, “We welcome Christopher as a deserving member of TB2 Aviation Scholarship awardees. I believe he will serve as a role model to all other students interested in an aviation career, from pilots, AP mechanics, air traffic controllers, avionics technicians and numerous other related industry positions.”
We are particulary proud that Christopher is being recognized for his excellence,” said ERAU College of Aviation Flight Department Chair, Parker Northrup. “He earned his helicopter ratings with us and transitioned to become one of our fixed-wing instructor pilots. With these broad skills, he truly is the best embodiment of being the total aviation professional.”
Christopher commented, “It’s an honor being the first Embry-Riddle recipient of this scholarship opportunity as well as the first veteran recipient.” He continued, “The fact that this organization is able to keep the stories alive and commemorate the service of our veterans means a ton to me and I can’t express enough gratitude.”
To honor Christopher Awes, TB2 hosted a luncheon, sponsored by The Miller Group, represented by Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rudy R. Miller and Vice President, Kristina Caylor. Scottsdale Mayor W. J. “Jim” Lane was keynote speaker of the event and representatives from ERAU were also in attendance, Dr. Tim Holt, Dean and Professor, College of Aviation; Dr. Kathleen Lustyk, Interim Vice Chancellor; Parker Northrup, Chair of the Flight Department; Steve Bobinsky, Executive Director of Philanthropy; AJ Reynolds, Director of Philanthropy; and Shelly Johnson, Associate Director, Leadership Annual Giving, as well as TB2 board members and special guests.
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 www.tbird2.org.