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Pittsburgh Family Ties

  • Published
  • By Capt Dicie Hritz
  • 171st Public Affairs
May 14th was a memorable day for Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Preissler who is the Professional Military Education and Training Functional Manager assigned to the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
May 14th marked the day his retirement flag would be flown at the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Pittsburgh.
Preissler and Capt. Keeble traveled four hours from WPAFB Friday to be present on the day his retirement flag was flown at the 171st ARW.
After searching the historical roots of his father's military career, Preissler came to find that his late father served at the 112th Tactical Fighter Group located at our installation.  The 112th TFG has since been converted to the 171st ARW.
Preissler brought a special flag for his retirement that already had special symbolic meaning.  The flag Preissler hand-carried to the 171st ARW, was flown in a Pittsburgh based C-130, during late Feb. by Capt. Keeble per Preissler's request to commemorate their 2006 deployment to the Middle East.  Preissler and Keeble arrived on base at approximately 12:30 a.m. and met Brig. Gen. Uptegraff.  After talking briefly with the General, Preissler and Keeble were escorted to the headquarters flagpole by Senior Master Sgt. Miller, 171st Security Forces Squadron.
Miller called the group to attention as the current flag was lowered and folded by Staff Sgt.'s Haythorn and Norman, both of the 171st SFS.  Preissler filled with honor and pride, handed his flag to Haythorn who hooked the flag on the flagpole and asked Preissler if he would like to do the honors of raising his flag up the pole.  Preissler graciously accepted the opportunity to participate in the flag raising.  Miller gave the order to the group to present arms as Preissler raised the flag up the pole.
Once the flag was flying high, Miller escorted our guests around the 171st ARW on a "windshield tour" of the base to show a little Pittsburgh hospitality.
After the tour was complete, the group gathered back at the flagpole for the retreat of the flag to commemorate the 24 years of dedicated service Preissler served.
When questioned what the flag being flown at the Pittsburgh unit meant to him, Preissler's response was one of sincere pride, honor and the deepest appreciation that the 171st honored his request.  This allowed him to keep him and his father's military career connected through the symbolic "Pittsburgh" location of where his father had served.
Preissler's retirement flag has symbolic meaning and Pittsburgh roots from the beginning on the Pittsburgh based C-130 and wrapping up the journey being flown at the 171st ARW that was the home of the former 112th TFG where his father served his military career.
When asked what Preissler plans on doing after his retirement, he stated "my wife and I are going to take a long vacation, then I'm going to look for a job."