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Buckley Airman 'strikes out' competition

Staff Sgt. William Buchanan competed in the Military Bowling Championship Jan. 16-25, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Buchanan and his bowling team took 15th place out of 262 other teams during the championship. Buchanan is a 2nd Space Warning Squadron space operator. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury)

Staff Sgt. William Buchanan competed in the Military Bowling Championship Jan. 16-25, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Buchanan and his bowling team took 15th place out of 262 other teams during the championship. Buchanan is a 2nd Space Warning Squadron space operator. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)

Some people never get the chance to turn their hobbies into achievements, but one 2nd Space Warning Squadron Airman proved that if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

From Jan. 16-25, Staff Sgt. William Buchanan, a 2nd SWS space operator, attended the 57th Military Bowling Championship held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The annual five-day tournament is an event where active-duty, reserve, guard and retired military members can unite in camaraderie and esprit de corps, according to the Military Bowling Championship website. Buchanan was on a team of six service members from all over the U.S.

Although this was Buchanan's first year competing in the championship, he's no stranger to the world of bowling.

"I've been bowling for 27 years, ever since I can remember," he said. "My mom was the manager of the bowling center growing up on Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. That's how it all started."

Buchanan met up with his best friend, Tech. Sgt. Anthony Meadows, assigned to the 746th Security Forces Squadron, Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, at the championship. Buchanan and Meadows met in high school in the Air Force Junior ROTC program and began bowling together.

"We'd always bowl in tournaments together," Buchanan said. "I would always try to beat him, and he'd always try to beat me. We were always competing with each other."

Buchanan credited Meadows for the success he has experienced in his bowling career, as well as pushing him to attend the championship. He said Meadows has been his constant inspiration and, growing up, they would constantly push each other to get better.

"(Growing up), our inspirational attitudes, drive and desire became contagious to one another," Meadows said. "We inspired each other to be better, not just in the sport but as individuals."

Meadows had competed in the Military Bowling Championship before and encouraged Buchanan to attend so that they could meet up with one another. Buchanan said this was their first time seeing each other in over four years.

"To see (him) for the first time in years was great," Meadows said. "I knew we would not get many opportunities to be in the same location, but this is one where we can make a good attempt to make sure we get together every year. To see him and watch him bowl the way he did was amazing and constantly reminded me that we were brothers."

Buchanan said the championship was intense, but nonetheless, his team struck out the competition. Buchanan's team took 15th place out of 262 teams.

"It was actually pretty crazy," Buchanan said. "(There were) 1,500 people of military backgrounds from all over the world. They're really good bowlers -- really intense."

Although Buchanan excels at the sport, he said he still has aspirations to improve himself. He is considering trying out for the Air Force bowling team next year, as well as working toward bowling his third perfect game.

"Over the 27 years I've bowled, I've had two perfect games," Buchanan said. "I'm trying to get another one. It's one of those sports where you can get better by yourself. You have to go out and practice by yourself, train yourself and get better on your own."

From a young age, bowling has been one of Buchanan's favorite pastimes. He said he couldn't be more grateful for the experiences, as well as the opportunity to engage in his favorite hobby with fellow service members during the championship.

"I love it," said Buchanan referencing the sport. "I will be doing this for the rest of my life."

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