• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 24s

USAF Thunderbird comes home to Anchorage

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Jared Mazurek - 10:56 PM July 26, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Nearly a quarter million people are expected to pass through Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for the Arctic Thunder air show this weekend.

It’s a chance see close up what planes can do.

“We always attend the air show, but this one is a little more special because he is here,” said Anchorage resident Eb Pope.

Pope is talking about his son technical Sgt. David Dukette.

“It’s like, hey, are excited to go home? Yes, I’m excited to go home! This was a big deal for us to come here,” Dukette said.

He joined the Air Force in 2000. As he was heading out to boot camp he said goodbye to his parents and made them a promise that someday he was going to be one of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. That’s exactly what he’s done.

“I look at him in his uniform and I think ‘wow, he really did it,’” said his mother Lorie Pope.

Dukette works in maintenance support for the Thunderbirds. While pilots push the jets to the limit, he’s the one making sure the aircraft is ready to go.

This is the first time the job has brought him home to Anchorage.

“I get to show my friends and family what it is I do,” Dukette said. “My parents are very proud and they love me doing this.”

But he does this for his country. By being a Thunderbird he hopes to give the public a glimpse into the sacrifice that the men and women in the military make for them.

Dukette is not the only Thunderbird from Alaska. There’s also technical Sgt. Amanda Geray, who is a line chief from North Pole.

Latest Stories

  • Lifestyle

    Week of Fourth of July is the riskiest time for kids in the water

    by Mary Brophy Marcus / CBS News on Jul 01, 12:14

    Canon balls, diving stunts, wave riding. Keeping cool in the pool, lake, ocean or water park is what summer’s all about for many kids. But emergency room physicians say summer is also when they see many water-related injuries and deaths among children. Simple safety precautions could avoid a lot of preventable tragedies. The number one rule […]

  • Sports

    Anchorage Bucs see what Beep Baseball is all about

    by Dave Goldman on Jul 01, 9:45

    The late Ted Williams said hitting a baseball was the hardest thing to do in sports. But the Red Sox Hall of Famer never had to play blindfolded. Welcome to Beep Baseball. The Anchorage Bucs took a night off from the traditional game to try their hand at this newer version at Mulcahy Stadium. The […]

  • Crime

    Police seek help, offer reward to locate person of interest in Merrill Field vandalism case

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 01, 9:01

    Police are looking for anyone with information about who may have caused $200,000 damage to airplanes at Merrill Field in early June. According to a release on Friday, the Anchorage Police Department says security camera footage shows a person who was there early that morning. Around 9 a.m. on June 2, APD was notified that more […]

  • DayBreak

    Daybreak Adopt-a-Pet for July 1, 2016

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 01, 9:00

      From Anchorage Animal Care and Control Dogs: Charlie: Don’t be fooled by Charlie – you might see his quiet and reserved side first but after that, he’ll be loving you with hugs and sidling up to you for cuddles. He’ll also show off his extensive knowledge – sit, shake, down and fetch! Bella: Bella […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaska State Troopers rescue man who wanted to build wilderness cabin

    by Associated Press on Jul 01, 8:50

    An Alaska State Trooper in a floatplane rescued a 29-year-old New York City man who set out to build a cabin and live in the wilderness. Vladimir Yakushin was picked up Wednesday on the north fork of the Kuskokwim River about 120 river miles northeast of McGrath. Troopers described him as low on food and […]

  • Mt. Marathon Race

    From mushing to Mount Marathon: The Seavey family rivalry

    by Emily Carlson on Jul 01, 8:25

    Any time the Seavey family gathers, it somehow turns into a competition. They’re known for mushing, but this weekend, their focus is on Mount Marathon — and the youngest brother has been scheming for months. “I have a plan to take Dallas out of the race. He should recover from it within a few months. […]

  • News

    AST: Bicyclist struck, killed on Sterling Highway near Soldotna

    by Associated Press on Jul 01, 8:00

    A Soldotna woman riding a bicycle died Thursday afternoon when she was struck by a truck on the Sterling Highway. Alaska State Troopers say 50-year-old Vanessa Wilkes was struck by a one-ton commercial pickup driven by 40-year-old Charles Kuntz of Nikiski. Wilkes was riding along Mile 91.5 about three miles east of Soldotna. Troopers say […]

  • News

    Early morning crash slows inbound traffic on Glenn Highway

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jul 01, 7:13

    Commuters should expect delays coming into Anchorage on the Glenn Highway on Friday morning, according to the Anchorage Police Department. APD tweeted just after 6:30 a.m. Friday that officers were responding to a crash on the inbound lanes of the Glenn Highway between the Birchwood exits. The department stated that the collision was blocking one […]