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Buckley member earns Air Force-level Honor Guard award

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, left, congratulates Staff Sgt. Diana Fishman, Mile High Honor Guard assistant flight chief, for winning the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Base Honor Guard Member of the Year Award June 18, 2014, at the fitness center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. This Air Force level award recognized a base-level honor guard member for their significant contributions in the area of military honors and ceremonies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, left, congratulates Staff Sgt. Diana Fishman, Mile High Honor Guard assistant flight chief, for winning the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Base Honor Guard Member of the Year Award June 18, 2014, at the fitness center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. This Air Force level award recognized a base-level honor guard member for their significant contributions in the area of military honors and ceremonies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Phillip Houk/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- For the first time, the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force recognized a member of the Mile High Honor Guard for their contribution to military honors and ceremonies.

Staff Sgt. Diana Fishman, Mile High Honor Guard assistant flight chief, was selected for the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Base Honor Guard Member of the Year Award.

Fishman has served in the Mile High Honor Guard since October 2011. She worked her way up to assistant flight chief, where she takes care of the scheduling for the unit.

"The main reason why Sergeant Fishman stood out was when she was just a new staff sergeant, she was able to take over (as assistant fight chief), as if it was made for her," said Master Sgt. Dustin Absher, Mile High Honor Guard superintendent.

In this position, Fishman has become a central part of the unit, working to better those she works with and increase mission effectiveness.

"If there is any issue, she finds a way to help the Airmen," Absher said. "She leads by example, and she always knows what to do next."

For Fishman, honor guard isn't just a job, its a way to give back to the families of fallen service members.

"It is a definite honor to be there for the military and families whose military member has passed," Fishman said. "The presentation we do might be the last vision and image of the Air Force the family will ever see."

Every time Fishman serves on the honor guard to perform a detail, not only does she work to honor the military member and their family, but she also grows and learns from the experience.

What we do hit home a few months ago, while I was performing a flag folding at a funeral. During the funeral the wife of the deceased collapsed on the casket yelling "why did you leave me after 70 years?" It meant a lot to me that what we do really is honoring to the family, Fishman said.

Although many of the jobs the honor guard perform are related to funerals, not all of Fishman's job includes sad times.

"We do a lot of little kid events. Near Veterans Day we go to several elementary schools where the kids ask what kind of gun do you carry and think the military is awesome," she said. "We are genuine role models for those kids."

Due to her hard work, serving the families of fallen service members and scheduling of more than 600 jobs a year, Fishman has been recognized as being the best at what she does.
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