Waite honored upon Air Force retirement

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AUGUSTA, MAINE — Master Sgt. Donald Waite, a Bennington native and Burr and Burton Seminary graduate who served for nearly 30 years in the U.S. military, was honored in a retirement ceremony from the U.S. Air Force last week.

During the ceremony, Waite recognized his wife, the former Kimberly Barnhardt, of Bennington, for her caring support during his military career and presented her with the Military Spouse Medal, recognizing her unwavering devotion.

"Master Sgt. Donald J. Waite distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States while assigned to Joint Force Headquarters," said Brig. Gen. Eric Lind, Maine Assistant Adjutant General—Air. "The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Sgt. Waite culminate a distinguished career in the service of his country and reflect great credit upon himself, the Air National Guard, and the United States Air Force."

Waite began his military career in the Air Force maintaining guidance and control systems of various missiles. In 1984 he joined the United States Navy, where he served on both the USS Seattle and the USS Theodore Roosevelt as a missile fire control technician.

Waite went on to serve in both the Vermont and Maine Air National Guard, and, following 9/11, was activated at his home station in Maine on several occasions serving on operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. Since 2007, Waite has been a member of the Joint Force Headquarters of the Maine National Guard, serving as first sergeant and unit training manager.

The official party of the ceremony included Maj. Gen Douglas Farnham, Maine Adjutant General; Brig. Gen. Scott Young, Commander of the Maine Air National Guard; Chief Master Sgt. Kelley Hoffses, Maine Command Chief, and Lind.

Waite was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his distinguished service and he was presented with his retirement order and a United States flag flown at the Maine State Capitol in honor of his service. Waite is employed by the State of Maine as a programmer analyst. The Waites live in Benton, Maine, and have two adult children and two grandchildren.

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