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Monday, May 2, 2016

A family with wings

Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Families do all sort of things together. Some have picnics. Some go on vacations. Some go into business together. But the Kestel family of Storm Lake has put a whole new twist on that age-old theme.

All three men of the Kestel family are members of the Air National Guard, and all are assigned with the 185th Fighter Division out of Sioux City.

The bloodline began with Master Sergeant Paul Kestel, a 19-year veteran of the guard. Paul works on the airstrip, fueling aircraft two weekends a month and one week a year.

When he's not at the airfield, he's working for Mid-American Energy.

Second Lieutenant Cory Kestel, 22, graduated from Iowa State University last May and is now an undergraduate pilot-in-training at Columbus Air Force Base in Columbus, Mississippi. He will fly the F-16 fighter jet.

Airman first-class Matt Kestel, 19, just finished basic training and has just enrolled as a freshman at Iowa State in January. Matt is in the armament division.

"I used to take the boys to the base with me," explains Paul. "Cory got hooked and it wasn't long before Matt followed suit."

The only two children of Paul and Gaylene have made what started as supplemental income into something of a family tradition.

Read the rest of this article in the 1/16 Pilot Tribune.

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