Korean War veteran

Vandenberg airmen work together to support a Korean War veteran Nov. 4 in Santa Maria. The airmen cleared out more than 6,000 pounds of green waste to save the Santa Maria home. 

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jim Araos/Released

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE -- Vandenberg airmen banded together to prevent a Korean War veteran from losing his Santa Maria home on Nov. 4.

The 88-year-old veteran, Masao Shinomiya, is wheelchair-bound and in danger of losing insurance coverage on his home due the inability to upkeep his home and could subsequently become displaced.

“The Santa Maria home was overgrown with bushes, shrubs, fallen trees, and large weeds after years of neglect,” said Jaime Lopez, airman and Family Readiness Center director. “With time running out and much work to be done, airmen heard of the plight and came forward to organize assistance.”

Senior Airman Ryan Logan, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal specialist, gathered volunteers from various squadrons of Vandenberg to provide aid. The airmen performed heavy work to clear the way for community partners to assist in the following weekends.

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“Shinomiya is a veteran from the Korean War and this is something we had to do for him,” said Logan. “We look out for one another, and this is everything we talk about every day -- [service before self].”

Once the task was completed, the airmen were able to clear and dispose of more than 6,000 pounds of green waste.

“This was a great opportunity to help somebody who needs it,” said Rosie Narez, a Santa Maria volunteer. “Every single person from the base was out here doing their part, and it was exhausting. A million thanks to all of the men and women from Vandenberg Air Force Base. You are truly amazing!”