Joint Base Charleston

 

Airman forecasts clear skies as TV weatherman

By Airman 1st Class Tom Brading | Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs | March 28, 2012

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Every night, thousands of families across South Carolina gather around their television sets to watch the evening news. For more than 25 years, they have entrusted Bill Walsh, a two-time Emmy Award Winner, to provide them accurate and updated weather conditions as the on-air chief meteorologist at WCSC-TV Live 5 News in Charleston, S.C.

As one of the most recognizable faces in the Lowcountry, it is still surprising to some of Walsh's viewers that he is also Lt. Col. Bill Walsh, 315th Airlift Wing Chief of Public Affairs.

"Sometimes viewers will see me in my military uniform and they often ask if I'm acting in a movie," said Walsh, who has played minor roles in the past on "The Young and the Restless." "I let them know that I'm not only a weatherman, I'm also an Airman."
Walsh serves as the official spokesperson for the 'busiest unit in the Air Force Reserve' while managing all public relations aspects of a military organization consisting of more than 2,600 personnel.

As an Airman, Walsh has been on many humanitarian missions across the globe. One of his most memorable missions was to Vietnam where he was selected to be one of a few servicemen tasked with bringing the remains of soldiers back to the United States for a long awaited burial.

"The repatriation mission to Hanoi is a testament to why I do what I do," said Walsh. "It's rewarding to be a part of something bigger than myself, and all of the lives impacted by the humanitarian missions I've been a part of, like the one to Vietnam, are examples of why I serve in the military."

In addition to the humanitarian mission to Vietnam, Walsh assisted in a mission to Afghanistan during Barack Obama's first visit to the country as President of the United States. Other missions have taken him to Iraq, Honduras and Haiti. During a humanitarian mission to Haiti, Walsh escorted news media, including ABC news correspondent Katie Couric, as one of the first Americans on the ground after the devastating earthquake in 2010.


"I work in news broadcasting," said Walsh. "However, when I'm in my military uniform I work for the Air Force. It's important to separate the careers, but sometimes I take what I've learned from the two and apply them to each other."

Walsh performs additional roles while working at Joint Base Charleston. He has been the White House press lead for multiple high profile presidential visits, press lead for the 2011 Charleston Air Expo and supervises the 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs staff, where he has won multiple awards including Public Affairs Officer of the Year at the national Air Force Reserve level.

"I'm no different than anyone else serving our country," said Walsh. "I'm just a reservist that happens to be on TV. However, there are countless others that wear the same military uniform. A reservist may be your doctor, teacher or next to you at the grocery store. They play vital roles in protecting our country and it's important to always be thankful for the selfless job they do."


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