As Senior Communications Operator and a master sergeant in the Air Force, Dave Wilkinson (Central High 1980) was responsible for ensuring that national leaders such as the President and Vice President, the Cabinet, members of Congress and foreign dignitaries were given the highest level of secure, reliable communication anywhere in the world.
When he concluded his military career at the end of 2004, he was one of only 50 airmen out of roughly 300,000 to perform this duty. Highly respected throughout the Air Force and commercial industry, Wilkinson was responsible for the design, integration and acquisition of a $42.3 million aircraft communications system for the Distinguished Visitor fleet at Andrews Air Force Base.
Some of the more memorable trips he made aboard these planes include one with First Lady Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to London for the funeral of Princess Diana, and another to Mother Teresa’s 1997 state funeral in Calcutta, and another with President Bush to New York City and Pennsylvania for memorial services on the first anniversary of 9/11.
He also served in a deployment to Qatar during Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he flew 17 combat missions.
Wilkinson currently resides in La Plata, MD.