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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Locals selected for flight with Golden Knights

Two locals have been selected for a Hometown Hero flight with the Golden Knights on Friday.

Rob Mitchell, a student at Auburn Montgomery is 18.

He was nominated by Jerry Watkins, the principal at East Memorial Christian Academy in Prattville, where Mitchell volunteers.

The Millbrook resident is also a volunteer fireman in Millbrook and active in his church in Montgomery.

On his way home along Main Street in Millbrook last spring, he noticed smoke coming from windows of a two-story home. He stopped his truck and entered the home. He found an elderly man who was nearly unconscious and brought him outside before the fire department arrived, likely saving his life, according to the nomination packet.

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Michael P. Whaley is the battalion commander of the Prattville Fire Department.

He was home with his family when an F-3 tornado hit the city. Once the tornado passed, he reported for duty and helped coordinate the response and relief efforts.

Whaley has been a member of the department since 1994.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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