2008 Air Force Security Forces Reserve Airman of the Year
By Staff Sgt. Eric M. Hamilton, special to the 129th Rescue Wing Public Affairs Office
/ Published March 26, 2009
MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- Staff Sergeant Alejandro "Alex" C. Alvarado said he joined the California Air National Guard and Security Forces in September 2003 because he wanted to serve before committing himself further to his education. "As a kid, I always wanted to be law enforcement," he added.
Sergeant Alvarado's childhood goal was validated when he was recognized as the Air Force Outstanding Security Forces Reserve Airman of the Year. He was nominated by his supervisor and 129th Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent, Senior Master Sgt. Richard M. Rodriguez.
"Sergeant Alvarado was selected as our airmen of the year because of his balanced superior performance," said Sergeant Rodriguez said. "A deployed and decorated security forces member, a qualified security forces control center controller, a musician for ministry services at a deployed location, and volunteer peer counselor on the home front for people in his community...he is the true representation of the citizen soldier."
Sergeant Alvarado has deployed twice. The first time, he volunteered for deployment from Feb. 2005 to May 2005, and moved up his wedding plans to get married before leaving for Iraq.
The second time, Sgt. Alvarado was involuntarily mobilized for deployment to Saudi Arabia from Nov. 2007 to May 2008. "This last deployment helped me realize a lot and understand myself better," he said.
He lost 60 lbs., completed college courses, got recognition and awards, and realized some long-term military goals. "I was more focused on what I wanted to do, because of the time to myself," Sergeant Alvarado said.
After graduating high school in 2000, he attended DeAnza college as a music student. Since then, music's become "more of a hobby," though he said he still works as a session musician at a Hayward studio with local artists.
During the week, he works at a local non-denominational Christian church in a men's ministry. "Basically, my role there is coordinating and planning for events. I'm the behind-the-stage man. I set up the monthly gatherings, like breakfasts, sporting events and Bible studies."
He also volunteers with local youth at that church, and tells them of his Guard experiences.