Rome Lab airman gets special ceremony

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DETROIT, MICH. — TSgt. Andrew (Drew) Dyal has spent 12 years of service in the Air Force, but Dyal, who is currently stationed at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate in Rome has spent a lifetime as a fan of the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

So, when it came time for Dyal to reenlist, the Michigan native had a request — to have his ceremony at Ford Field in downtown Detroit, home of his beloved Lions.

On Sunday, Dec. 13, Dyal got his wish. Accompanied by his children, Kira and Ryker, and a few family members and associates, the technical sergeant reenlisted under the Indefinite Reenlistment Program, permitting him to serve as an airman for an additional 10 years, in a ceremony Ford Field. Like any good trick football play, it involved both a high degree of planning and a little luck.

Dyal had expressed his desire to reenlist at Ford Field off the cuff to Rome Lab Director Col. Timothy J. Lawrence, who is also a Lions fan. Lawrence, who is familiar with State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo’s past efforts in accomplishing some challenging and unique endeavors, reached out to see if the senator could assist with facilitating Dyal’s request.

Following their conversation, Griffo began to explore different routes and avenues to make the ceremony happen, including speaking with Michigan State Sen. Peter Lucido and ultimately connecting with Jim Ryan of the Michigan-based Public Affairs Associates. Ryan helped get in touch with the Detroit Lions and the Detroit-Wayne County Stadium Authority that owns Ford Field. From there, it was a matter of managing logistics and scheduling with the Lions and the Authority eagerly on board.

“I am greatly humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to have my final reenlistment at Ford Field,” Dyal said, following the ceremony. “I have been a Detroit Lions fan for a long time and have watched and shared many ups and downs throughout the seasons!”

“My family and I could not have asked for anything else for this to finish out my tenure in the Air Force,” he said. “I would like to thank all of those who had helped put this together, including Col. Timothy Lawrence, Mr. Ryan Reed, MSgt Christy Behrens, Senator Griffo’s office, and Ms. Kristen Dale to name a few. As I was not able to get much contact with people to thank them in person. You have my family and my sincere thanks.”

Dyal is a client system technician in the Information Intelligence Systems and Analysis Division at the lab, managing crypto devices and customer support of mission critical systems. He said he chose to reenlist because he enjoys the work he does, has the opportunity to continuously evolve, learn about computers and the systems he manages, and, foremost, the many benefits of being an airman. Kira and Ryker added, “That was so much fun!” about their experience with their father. 

“From Rome to Detroit, this was truly a team effort,” Griffo said. “I appreciate Col Timothy Lawrence, who is always looking out for his troops, Brian Adey from my office, Sen. Peter Lucido, Jim Ryan, the Detroit-Wayne County Stadium Authority, the Detroit Lions and all those who played a part in making TSgt Dyal’s reenlistment ceremony a success. I thank TSgt Dyal for his service to our nation and wish him well.”

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