HARB showcases local Airman during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lionel Castellano
  • 482d Fighter Wing

This May, during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the 482d Fighter Wing proudly recognizes Tech. Sgt. Tu Lam of the 482d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) for his remarkable journey and contributions.

After arriving from Vietnam, where his father had been detained for a decade following the Vietnam War, Lam made a new start in the U.S. in 2007. He initially worked as a nail technician before advancing professionally. 

His longstanding desire to serve was realized in 2015 when he joined the Air Force Reserve with his wife's support and became a crew chief.

"I really love my life in the U.S., so I wanted to join the military to do my service," Lam said, reflecting on his decision to enlist.

Assigned to the 482d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Lam quickly discovered a close-knit community within the unit. This supportive environment bolstered his dedication to his work and fostered a strong sense of camaraderie among his colleagues.

"AMXS is like a family to me," he said. "Everyone takes care of each other and supports each other."

His deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2021 was a significant experience that emphasized the importance of his role and inspired his further professional development. Recognizing the need for specialized skills in his field, Lam pursued cross-training in Avionics. He is currently in technical school for avionic and working towards a bachelor's degree.

Lam's commitment to excellence and ongoing professional growth reflects the dynamic and resilient spirit of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the military. As he continues to develop his skills, he not only contributes to the strength and readiness of his unit but also serves as a role model, demonstrating the profound impact one individual can have within their community and beyond. His journey from a newcomer in America to a respected technician and serviceman is a powerful reminder of the opportunities that perseverance and dedication can bring.