For centuries, countless men and women have put their lives on the line defending our country. Their bravery has protected our freedom. Their dedication has meant our safety.

This Veterans Day, we’d like to extend a huge thank you to those who have served and are serving. We are humbled by your sacrifices.

Among our own Kenmore Air family, we’ve been privileged to have several veterans join the team, including Rick Akin.

Since 1989, Rick’s worked in Kenmore Air’s maintenance department. He’s done a little bit of everything, but now specializes in de Havilland Otters. Focusing on flight control repairs, Rick removes the wings during each Otter’s annual inspection.

“We go through the whole thing. Every last detail,” he explained to me, motioning at the roughly 22-foot-long monstrosities that rested inside the machine shop.

However, before Rick came to Kenmore Air, before he even began working on planes, he worked on helicopters. “I was drafted in ’65 and I knew I wanted to work on helicopters. So, when I went into the Marines and I got into aviation right away,” he said.

Rick worked on and flew in an H-34 Choctaw. It was a multi-purpose, radial powered helicopter. “They began phasing out the radial engines, but while I was there, that’s what I was in,” he said.

After he was honorably discharged, Rick initially settled in California. But, he was a born traveler. Before he’d even graduated high school he’d lived in four different states. When his mom relocated to the San Juans, he found his way up to the Pacific Northwest. During those first years in the PNW, he worked for other local airlines. But eventually he joined the Kenmore Air family and he’s been here ever since. We’re incredibly blessed to have him.

 
 

Rick Akin, Kenmore Air Mechanic

Served: ’65 – ’69 during Vietnam

Rank: Sergeant E-4, honorably discharged

Joined Kenmore Air Team: October 1989