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Wichita State News
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Kathy Bond, right, accepts a certificate naming her 22nd OSS honorary commander from Lt. Col. Aaron Walenga.

Returning adult student aims to create a bond between Air Force, community

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

  • Returning adult student Kathy Bond is serving the community as an honorary commander at McConnell Air Force Base. 
  • Her goal is to build a bridge between the Air Force and the community, bringing awareness of the Air Force to WSU.
  • Bond also represents returning adult students as a senator in Student Government Association.

Kathy Bond has been a ballerina, a flight attendant, worked in an office, been married for 25 years, raised two boys, gone back to college and is still hungry for more.

The returning adult student – who’s a communication major with an emphasis in public relations – is lending her enthusiastic personality and speaking skills to McConnell Air Force Base as an honorary commander with the Operation Support Squadron. Bond is nearly halfway through her two-year practicum.

As an honorary commander, Bond attends commander calls and is invited to social functions. Her goal is to build a bridge between the Air Force and the community by using her communication and public relation skills to create relationships with adult students and the Student Veteran Organization.

“I just want to bring awareness to the college campus about the Air Force,” says Bond. “Every single second of every single day, these people are protecting us and keeping us safe. I’m so grateful to serve them.”

In addition to serving her community as an honorary commander, Bond also serves on Wichita State’s Student Government Association (SGA) as a representative for returning adult students. Bond says serving on SGA has given her a vehicle to reach out to veterans, military, and returning adult students on campus.

“It means so much that people can come back to school and still be accepted by the younger, traditional students,” says Bond. “My mantra is, ‘You’re never too old and it’s never too late.’”

Kathy Bond and family

Bond first heard of this position while attending last year’s Resthaven Memorial Day event with her family. After listening to Col. Albert G. Miller speak at the event, Bond made a point to introduce herself and thank him. Miller then spoke with Bond’s son, an airman, and gave him advice and encouragement. The interaction moved Bond so much, she told Miller that if she could, she would join the Air Force and be the best airman he’s ever seen.

“He turned to his partner and said, ‘I want her as an honorary commander,’” said Bond. “I didn’t exactly know what that meant at the time, but I was all in.”

After a few months of screening and a selection process, Bond received her pin last November.

The Air Force has been a large part of Bond’s life since childhood. Her father was an airman and taught her what the different stripes on a uniform meant, as well as what the Air Force stands for. Now as an adult, Bond is a WingMom with both sons in the Air Force.

“It would be a dream job to work on base,” says Bond. “I’d like to do anything with PR or public affairs or working with the community.”

Bond hopes that after graduating this upcoming December, people look to her and use her for her talents. She’s confident that her experience at McConnell, SGA and as a returning adult student, along with everything else she’s done, will help set her above the rest.

This story has been tagged Students, Wichita, Student Profiles, Community, Elliott School of Communication, Experience-based learning, Military and Veteran Student Center, Diversity/Inclusion, Adult Learning. See all RSS feeds here
Created on Wednesday, July 26, 2017; Last modified on Wednesday, July 26, 2017
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