Karen Bogdan of Tarentum, Pennsylvania joined the Pennsylvania Air National Guard more than 25 years ago to help pay for college. Around the time of the first Gulf War, she amusingly recalls, it was the only branch of service her mother approved of, mostly because of the Air Force’s less than “combative” role compared to the other branches of service.
During Karen’s enlisted career in the ANG, she worked as a videographer and photographer. After ten years of enlisted service, she commissioned as an officer and served as an aircraft maintenance officer at various levels of the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.
At the time of this interview, Karen was serving as the 171st’s public affairs officer, and she was recently selected to advance to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
This interview was recorded July 9, 2016 at Allegheny-Valley Historical Society and Heritage Museum in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. Interviewer: Kevin Farkas. Special Thanks: Karen Bogdan, Nick Grimes, Jamie Stoner, Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society & Heritage Museum. A production of the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative. Executive Producer: Kevin Farkas. Associate Media Producer: Bryan Chemini. Editor: Jonathan Stile.