Ramstein youth wins Air Force video competition

  • Published
  • By Capt. Tony Wickman
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs
A U.S. Air Forces in Europe youth was named the Air Force-level winner for his submission to the Year of the Air Force Family video competition April 21.

Gen. Roger Brady, the USAFE commander, presented Hunter Koltes, 13, a $2,000 gift check toward the purchase of a new computer and video camera and a commander's coin for his tribute video called, "Life of a Military Brat."

Hunter is the son of Lt. Col. Jason Koltes, the USAFE vice commander executive officer, and Heather Koltes.

The video was seen at the April commander's conference and all who saw it liked it, General Brady said.

"We appreciate the spirit of your family and capturing it for us," the general said. "Your video showed there are a whole lot of positive things to being an Air Force family. I appreciate and say thank you for making a really cool video."

The Ramstein American Middle School eighth grader said he wanted to make a video that showed what it was like to be a child of an Air Force member.

"I'm excited to win, it's amazing," he said. "I know people have different lives and I wanted to show people not related to the military how our families live. I liked the experience of showing my life to people. I put it together to see where it would go. It was a great experience...awesome."

When he grows up he wants to be an Air Force pilot like his dad, Hunter said.

After posting his video, it was sent around the world to family and friends and went viral from there, ringing true to people past and present who lived the life Hunter showed.

"Once it was out there, I heard from everyone," Hunter said.

His mother echoed those sentiments.

"We shared it with family and friends and put it on Facebook. What was amazing is we heard from people we didn't even know, and it spiraled off Facebook. It went all the way around the world," Mrs. Koltes said.

Mrs. Koltes said the entire family was extremely proud and overwhelmed by Hunter's achievement.

"It was all Hunter's idea," she said. "He saw an ad for it and wanted to do it. He is into computers and designing web sites and things like that, so the competition was right up his alley. We didn't help him at all. He knew he wanted to do a slide show and came up with all the words, all I did was help him find some of the pictures and he got it done quickly."

Colonel Koltes said the competition demonstrates the support for the Air Force and Air Force families.

"Within minutes of him posting it went nationwide and worldwide." he said. "There is a lot of support for the military. I guess you can say the technology revolution is definitely upon us."

The Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force named July 2009 to July 2010 as the Year of the Air Force Family to recognize and celebrate the many members of the Air Force Family, while providing education and awareness on how Air Force programs and community partners support them.

The Koltes video can be seen at http://www.myairforcelife.com/contests/videos.cfm.