GFAFB Boasts Oldest Active Duty AirmanFor the last two years the Grand Forks Air Froce Base has had the bragging rights of having the oldest active duty airman in the entire country, and he doesn't show an signs of stopping.
By: Steve Bodakowski, WDAZ
For the last two years the Grand Forks Air Froce Base has had the bragging rights of having the oldest active duty airman in the entire country, and he doesn't show an signs of stopping.
Dan Kulund is now the chief of medicine at the base. He started his military career back in 1973.
After close to two decades on the civilian side, he decided the military was his calling, and that led him to where he is today.
Full of energy and enthusiasm you'd never know Dan Kulund is the oldest active duty airman in the country. This 68 year old is the most senior airman of more than 330-thousand nationwide. His journey to Grand Forks where he is the chief of medicine and his status as the oldest airman started in 1973. That's when Kulund joined the the air force and became the chief of orthopedics at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
Dan Kulund: "Being old is a state of mind I don't feel old, I feel 70 years young."
Kulund left the Air Force after two years and for 18 years worked in orthopedics at a university and in his private practice. After about two decades Kulund decided he wanted more than just he daily routine of seeing patients.
Dan Kulund: "I was lucky enough to be accepted back into the air force and went to Germany where I was chief of orthopedics."
At 52 years old, when many airmen are ready to retire, Kulund began his second stint in the military. For 14 years he traveled from Germany to Italy, and all over Europe helping the injured from Africa, and Bosnia. In 1999 when he came back to the States and bounced through 3 bases (nats) before coming to Grand Forks two years ago, where he's known for developing this. He calls them fighting sticks.
Kulund says he saw airmen struggle with their 10 pound M-16's during training so came up with a grid of 15 exercises all using this fighting stick to condition soldiers for deployment. Today they are being sent to troops all over the world. Even after his many accomplishments Kulund says he still has more to do.
Dan Kulund: I never thought I could retire, because I'd been in two years I thought I'd have to stay to 60 then they moved retirement age to 62.
Kulund got several age waivers to continue to works past 62 and today says retirement is finally in sight.
Dan Kulund: "I'll be able to retire when I'm more than 70 years old."
Kulund says he plans of continue to to persue his passion in physical fitness when he retires. As for his military career he says it was one of the best decisions he's made to come back to the Air Force for a second time.