Jasper airman to appear in ad during OlympicsFebruary 9, 2018
By ALLEN LAMAN
South Korea-based U.S. Air Force Airman Austin Horsting, 19, didn’t believe his intramural flag football coach when he told him NBC was bringing a camera crew to their tournament championship game.
“My coach, he kind of says a bunch of crazy stuff,” Horsting, a Jasper native, said during a Thursday morning video call.
But a few days later, during the network’s Super Bowl LII pre-game show, viewers got a quick snap of him running a route as patriotic messages filled their speakers and screens in a commercial promoting the Osan Air Base and the Air Force. The minute-long advert will also play throughout the Winter Olympic Games, which have their opening ceremonies tonight at 8 p.m. and end Feb. 25.
“I thought it was pretty neat,” Horsting said. “A great experience.”
Horsting can be seen around the 10-second mark of the video. He is first shown on the far right of a group of players standing in white jerseys on the sideline and is later highlighted in a shot that shows him crossing the field in a No. 12 uniform, his high school soccer nickname “Sauce” printed at the top of his back.
Horsting was born and raised in Jasper and is now a traffic management officer in North Korea’s backyard — living at the Osan Air Base — about 30 minutes away from the Korean Demilitarized Zone. His responsibilities include moving and processing cargo at the base as well as relocating fellow active duty service members.
He said the first time he played football was when he arrived at Osan. He played club and school soccer his entire life in Dubois County.
Life away from home has been different for him, but he doesn’t plan on returning stateside anytime soon. Come May, he’ll relocate to England for two years.
“Korea has been kind of a big culture shock,” Horsting said. “It’s a lot different from the U.S.”
But he is embracing the culture. He said he enjoys learning about people’s backgrounds, their language, their customs, their foods and more. The first major difference he noticed was that driving is incredibly different in South Korea, where drivers plow through stoplights “like it’s nothing.”
Horsting said he hasn’t been scared since tensions between the U.S. and North Korea heated up last fall but added he takes his planning exercises very seriously.
He completed security force training in San Antonio, Texas, in late fall of 2016, and finished tech school in Fort Lee, Virginia, in April of last year. He then shipped out to Osan in May 2017.
His advice to anyone heading down a similar path as him?
“Travel as much as you can,” Horsting said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and just have fun while you’re doing it.”
His father, Larry Horsting, said several commercials were compiled with footage from the base, meaning it is possible more with Austin will be released as the Olympics progress.
The PyeongChang Games are about three hours from Horsting’s base. He said he plans on checking out the atmosphere and scenery sometime during the next few weeks.
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