News Search


Like father, like son: 110th Wing member prepares for deployment

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Gary Leonard
  • 110th Wing

DVIDS - News - Like father, like son: 110th Wing member prepares for deployment

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Staff Sgt. Zach Norris follows in his father’s footsteps by preparing to deploy from the 110th Wing in the Michigan Air National Guard.

“It’s a surreal experience,” said Norris, the materiel management warehouse supervisor of the 110th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “I spent a lot of my younger years watching my dad as he went on his deployments, and now he gets to witness me leave on my deployment.”

Norris’ father, retired Vietnam veteran Steven Norris, deployed multiple times with the 110th Wing during his 38 years in the military. He served 22 years as a machinist on base back when there were A-10 fighter jets assigned.

Steven was the last active Vietnam veteran to retire in 2011 from the 110th Wing. Shortly after, Norris joined the Air National Guard in 2012.

“There was no doubt in my mind that I would enlist in the military, and I always knew I wanted to work on base like my dad,” said Norris. “I always wanted to be a part of something big and there was no better place to be.”

Growing up, Norris said he always enjoyed spending time with his dad around the base. He went to the local air show and watched his dad work at the shop during certain times of the year.

Friend and coworker of both father and son, Master Sgt. Troy Nault, supervisor of the Traffic Management Office from the 110th Wing said, “I worked with Zach’s dad in 2000 when I first joined the Air National Guard here, and Zach would love visiting the base and observing his father work. Zach is just a younger version of his dad, and they are both confident and respected around the unit.”

Now, Norris has had the opportunity to witness how the base operates as an adult and has made many lifelong friendships throughout the process.

“Just like my dad when he deployed, I have the privilege to deploy with my friend from the unit,” said Norris. “I am grateful for the opportunity because my friend and I work very well together and we will be able to bring our expertise to the mission ahead of us.”

Norris has spent most of his life around the 110th Wing in Battle Creek, and he thinks of his career as more than just an ordinary job.

“I love what I do and the people I work with,” said Norris. “I work with an incredible team that keeps me accountable and makes me want to excel at my career. I want to put in at least another 20 years of service.”

Nault said, “Zach has always been a part of our family here at the base and nothing will ever change that.”

Military readiness begins at home and having the support of family, coworkers and friends is crucial to the member’s success in the Air National Guard.

“I learn a lot from everybody I work with, but I learn the most from my dad,” said Norris. “I always get my dad’s advice on everything I do because I want to follow in my father’s footsteps and continue my family’s legacy.”

“My dad’s my hero,” said Norris.