A Howell resident was honored for his career of service after retiring from the Air Force Reserves last week.
Command Master Sergeant Michael Ferraro was recognized by the 514th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst at the ceremony on September 21. Having been born in Queens he was raised in the township before graduating from Howell High School on his way to the service.
Ferraro’s first assignment took him far away from home as he was stationed at Camp New Amsterdam in the Netherlands as an F-15 crew chief. During the ceremony he was recognized for helping to “prepare the next generation for whatever threat comes next.”
A lot has changed since he first enlisted as Colonel Michael J. Underkofler, commander of the wing recalled. “We were worried about the Soviets. Airmen like Mike were focused on making sure the weapons systems were ready to go.”
During his most recent assignment Ferraro advised the staff on “health, welfare, morale and the effective utilization of more than 2500 enlisted personnel.” Also during his service he served as Interim Command Master Chief at Fourth Air Force at March Air Force Base in California. During that stop he worked with 11 flying wings, one flying group and two regional support groups making up 300 units and 21,000 service members.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Ferraro’s wife Mary Beth, his daughters Olivia and Gianna and his mother Josie. His final commanding officer credited them for supporting him during his service. “This is the part where we give you back your husband, your father, your son,” Underkofler said.
Before he hung up his wings Ferraro oversaw a flag folding ceremony performed by the 514th Elite Honor Guard. “It feels good to know I’m making a difference, even out of uniform,” he said.