One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Rich Stratton, Assistant Director of Public Relations

Amid the sea of 995 graduates receiving degrees at Cedarville University’s 168thcommencement on Saturday, May 4 stood four men ready to take flight. 

After four years of intense training and education through Cedarville’s Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps Program (AFROTC), John Thomson (Greenwood, Missouri), Brent Whitley (Raleigh, North Carolina) and Beavercreek, Ohio, residents Thaddeus Krueger and Matthew Crum were recently accepted into the highly competitive Air Force flight training program and are on their way to becoming pilots. A journey they shared more about on the Cedarville Stories Podcast.

Air Force ROTCThe Air Force provides opportunities in careers such as developmental engineering, aircraft maintenance, airfield operations and logistics. But one of the most coveted, and competitive, career paths is that of a pilot. 

For Krueger, the dream of becoming a pilot trace back to his childhood. 

“I remember looking up and seeing airplanes as a kid. One of my first sentences was, ‘Someday, I want to fly in a big airplane,’” Krueger said. “I like understanding what makes things fly and the idea of being up in the clouds. There are so many things that go into being a pilot. It’s a cool challenge.” 

Thomson, who also grew up in a military household, did not embrace a future in service until his family was stationed in Italy as a teenager. “Living in Europe allowed me to see how different life is in the United States and to realize we have liberties and freedoms that are unique. I decided the American dream was something that needed to be protected.” 

After years of dedication, the tenacity of these young men has paid off, and their dream of becoming Air Force pilots is coming true. 

“This was something we fought hard for and it’s amazing to have this opportunity,” Crum said. “There’s still a lot of challenges ahead, but it’s encouraging to know that it’s in God’s hands.”  

These men are excited by the promise of adventure, speed, travel, and being at the controls of multimillion-dollar equipment, but they are moved to the sky by their desire to protect the freedoms afforded to those fortunate enough to call the United States home.  





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