340th Flying Training Group Airman featured on the ‘The View’
By Janis El Shabazz, 340th Flying Training Group Public Affairs
/ Published May 25, 2017
Lt. Col. Thomas Lessner, Air Force Reserve Command T-1 Instructor Pilot and 39th Flying Training Squadron assistant director of operations with the 340 Flying Training Group, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, was a featured guest on ABC's “The View” today. Lessner appeared on the show in support of a larger Memorial Day tribute featuring guest host former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
‘The View” complemented the episode with a human-interest story involving the shoot down of Lessner’s Air Force MH-53 helicopter by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq in 2004 and a surprise reunion of the crew that was aboard the helicopter when it was hit.
The show’s surprises did not stop with the crew’s reunion. During the segment, the crewmembers were greeted and coined by Rumsfeld.
The show culminated with one last surprise for Lessner. Rumsfeld performed Lessner’s promotion to lieutenant colonel as Lessner recited the oath of office on air before a national audience of more than two million. Among the most proud members of that audience were the Citizen Airmen of the 39th FTS and 340th FTG that participated in their wingman’s promotion via live video feed.
Lessner attributes his resiliency throughout his career to the unwavering support from his family and fellow airmen.