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302nd Airlift Wing Historian makes history winning AF Award

Tech Sgt. Denise Flory, 302nd Airlift Wing historian documents the Modular
Airborne Fire Fighting System deployment preparations Aug., 1, 2015 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Flory's special study, "Wildfire Winds: The 302nd Airlift Wing's Aerial
Firefight Mission in the Colorado Springs Wildland Urban Interface,
2012-2013,"  received recognition as the Air Force History and Museums
Program  2015 Robert F. Futrell Award for excellence in historical
publications. According to the Air Force Reserve Command Historian's office,
Flory is the first traditional reservist to have a special paper receive
this award. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ann Skarban)

Tech Sgt. Denise Flory, 302nd Airlift Wing historian documents the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System deployment preparations Aug., 1, 2015 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Flory's special study, "Wildfire Winds: The 302nd Airlift Wing's Aerial Firefight Mission in the Colorado Springs Wildland Urban Interface, 2012-2013," received recognition as the Air Force History and Museums Program 2015 Robert F. Futrell Award for excellence in historical publications. According to the Air Force Reserve Command Historian's office, Flory is the first traditional reservist to have a special paper receive this award. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ann Skarban)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Tech. Sgt. Denise Flory, 302nd Airlift Wing Historian, is no stranger to significant historical events. She is less accustomed to her name in the history books. Flory won the Air Force History and Museums Program 2015 Robert F. Futrell Award for excellence in historical publications, becoming the first traditional reservist ever to do so.

The Robert F. Futrell Award recognizes those who have produced an outstanding publication during the past calendar year.

Flory's entry, "Wildfire Winds: The 302nd Airlift Wing's Aerial Firefight Mission in the Colorado Springs Wildland Urban Interface, 2012-2013," documents the Peterson Air Force Base reserve wing's  Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System mission and 302nd Airlift Wing involvement in the air and in the community during the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest Fires.

Flory took on researching and writing this special study as part of her historian seven-level skills upgrade training.  In her own words, she explains why she chose this project, "It was rather historic to have those two [MAFFS] activations literally in our backyard in consecutive years. When Reserve Wing Historians submit an essay or study, it is requested to be both current history and a topic that affects their assigned wing," she added.

According to Flory, her love of history started early and has turned into a lifelong pursuit to document the actions of today for the benefit of future generations.
"I have the privilege of telling stories," said Flory. "I like knowing that what I do ensures that 302nd Airlift Wing actions are remembered forever. It is important to me to keep those memories alive."

Flory found out she had won when Air Force Reserve Command shared a post congratulating the winners on Facebook.

"I was getting congratulations from other historians. I looked on Facebook and was shocked," said Flory. "It is generally the civilian [Air Force historian] Ph.D.s that win. It is rare to even have a military entry."

Flory isn't willing to take all the credit though. She wants the award to reflect on the entire wing.

"I didn't win this award, we won," said Flory. "This is a direct reflection on the incredible members and actions of this wing. I couldn't have done this without the amazing support I received during my research and writing."

"We are absolutely proud of the great job sergeant Flory has done leading the history office," said Col. Erich Novak, 302nd Airlift Wing Vice Commander. "This award shows the outstanding caliber of her work."

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui