Kim Pollard, U.S. Air Force, 1999 – 2003

Kim Pollard served in Security as an E4, Serial Airman, Security Forces in the 425th Air Base Squadron.

Kim Pollard is the daughter of Anita Schoonover and Gilbert Mills.  She was in culinary arts school in Bend, Oregon, working three jobs when an Air Force recruiter talked her into joining up. 

She did her PT at Basic in Texas; they had to get up early because it got too hot to exercise in the daytime.  Her eventual job assignment was in Security Forces, she normally carried an M16 with 210 rounds of ammunition.  It took an hour to get ready for work- and an hour changing out and accounting for the firearms and ammunition in case they were audited.  Typically, this meant working a 14 hour day. 

Her first assignment was the RAF base at Lakenheath in Suffolk, England for two years. Despite being an RAF station, Lakenheath currently only hosts United States Air Force units and personnel. The host wing is the 48th Fighter Wing (48 FW), also known as the Liberty Wing, assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA).

Her next assignment was at Izmir, Turkey for one year.  Izmir Air Base is one of the strategic military installations run by the US Air Force in Europe. It is almost 250 miles away from Istanbul, in one of the oldest and largest cities of Turkey. It is also close to the Aegean Sea, which means it has direct access to the Middle East. In Izmir Ms. Pollard was stationed at a support base for NATO. She wore civilian clothes and carried a concealed 9MM Beretta pistol.  Her duty was mostly checking on the officers that worked on the NATO base, doing security checks on their houses and apartments, and checking on facilities they would monitor.    Being in civilian clothes helped her blend in and not seem so military.

Once she deployed to Bosnia.  At the time she thought the Bosnia deployment was routine.  Escorting people off and on base, sometimes there was live fire and she would have to clear buildings- looking back on it, she thinks she maybe should have been a bit more worried! 

Every time she comes home to Hoonah she goes fishing, picnicking, berry picking and pulling crab pots; when she leaves, she says “it feels like it ends way too soon.” She has lived in twelve different places, visited thirty-two states, and gone to eighteen countries. If it weren’t for the military, she would never have had these opportunities and for that, she thinks joining the service is a great opportunity that young Hoonah people should think about doing.


Kim Pollard