Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
By: Arnold Wyrick
By: Arnold Wyrick
One Southern Illinois soldier went far above and beyond the call to duty on Veteran's Day. 23 year old Bobbi Yonker recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, with the Air Force. But on this November 11th, she did something she's never done before.
Yonker was called upon to climb a 300' radio tower in Ava, Illinois to raise funds for the Women's Center in Carbondale. The fundraising idea was hatched during ' The Working Man's Show' on WXAN radio.
"I have no experience, I had a practice run yesterday. This will be the first time I've ever done anything like this," Yonker said.
"I am afraid of heights!"
So what could drive this soldier to climb three hundred feet into the air hanging by a rope?
" Veteran on Veteran's Day. I was crazy enough to do it," Yonker said.
And with that no sooner said, a crew with J&O Communications cinched up her straps on her climbing harness and she was off. With Steve Fry a few steps ahead of her on the ascent.
"If she gets apprehensive, or if it's too windy up where we have the rope at right now we're not going up any further. But if it's not too bad, and she want to go on up I'll take the rope on up further, and we'll go from there," Fry said.
The crowd gathered outside WXAN radio watched in disbelieve, and respect as she made her way up the side of the tower.
Finally one hour later and a few breaks to catch her breath, Yonker pulled herself atop the three hundred foot tower clutching it tightly as the wind ripped at her grasp.
A round of applause erupted from the crowd gathered below, as they looked skyward to Yonker and Fry perched atop the tower.
But for Yonker her task was only half way done. She still had to climb back down. Which only took her about the half the time it did to scale the tower.
When asked how she felt? She exclaimed, " That was awesome, you could see a lot from up there!"