Warrior of the Week: Airman 1st Class Eric Vanderstreet

Airman 1st Class Eric Vanderstreet, 319th Security Forces Squadron patrolman/installation entry controller, demonstrates the lights on his patrol car Feb. 20, 2015, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. Vanderstreet was chosen as Warrior of the Week for the fourth week in February. (Airman 1st Class Bonnie Grantham)

Airman 1st Class Eric Vanderstreet, 319th Security Forces Squadron patrolman/installation entry controller, demonstrates the lights on his patrol car Feb. 20, 2015, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. Vanderstreet was chosen as Warrior of the Week for the fourth week in February. (Airman 1st Class Bonnie Grantham)

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Name: Airman 1st Class Eric James Vanderstreet

Unit: 319th Security Forces Squadron

Duty title: Patrolman/Installation Entry Controller

Time in service: 26 months

Time on station: 1 year, 7 months

Hometown: Cedar Grove, New Jersey

Why is serving in the Air Force important to you?
I believe that serving in the military in general, no matter what branch you are in, is important. What stands out to me the most is that our nation is here to do the work other nations cannot. We operate all over the world to better the lives of the people who don't have the means to do it themselves. Ranging anywhere from feeding the impoverished countries to defending them from terrorism, we selflessly sacrifice ourselves for others, and I find that to be a noble cause.

What moment or accomplishment as a Warrior of the North are you most proud of and why?
My proudest accomplishment since I have been stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base would have to be when I provided security and protection for a POTUS mission. This opportunity strengthened my belief that our mission here is essential to our great nation and allowed me to take part in something bigger than my usual daily tasks. 

What is your favorite part of your job?
As a security forces member, I'm able to assist people, to the best of my ability, in times of crisis and in emergency situations. I enjoy being a person that people turn to for aid. It's fulfilling to rush into a situation when everyone else is on their way out.

How do you apply the wing commander's principles of 'passion, proficiency and professionalism'?
I believe that I apply these principles in every aspect of my job, whether it be patrolling the installation or volunteering off-base. I exercise these principles by enjoying what I do, doing it correctly, and doing it with the utmost respect regardless of the situation.

Who or what inspires you and why?
One of the main inspirations of my life is my family. They are the cornerstone of who I am and making them proud greatly factors into every decision that I make. They push me to go above and beyond what is expected of me, which has shaped me into who I am today and who I will become.

What's the first thing that made you think Grand Forks Air Force Base was a cool place other than the temperature or weather?
Being from New Jersey where life is a little fast-paced, it me took a little longer than some people to get used to Grand Forks Air Force Base. Once I became accustomed to being here, I really began to appreciate the people. I believe that the people here are the best part of this base with their kindness, generosity, and the close family feeling.

Do you have any military service family members or anyone close to you that has served? If so when and where did they serve?
Both of my grandfathers served in World War II. My mother's father served in the Army as a rifleman. He took part in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge and was later injured and taken off the front lines. My father's father served in the Navy on the U.S.S. Antietam and operated on a Quadruple Bofors 40mm gun. He sailed all over the Pacific Ocean during the final months of the war, and took part in numerous post-war challenges the United States had to face in the South Pacific. They were each honorably discharged with a variety of different medals and achievement awards.