JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
From a young age, Pfc. Amadaos Wallenda and his siblings were taught to walk a tightrope, juggle, perform acrobatics, and other uncommon activities that were as normal for him and his family as riding a bike. Of course, Wallenda descends from eight generations of circus performers; the Great Wallendas – known also as the Flying Wallendas – have been honing their skillful, sometimes death defying, acts since the late 18th
Wallenda’s father, Nik, most recently walked a distance of 1,800 feet on a highwire suspended 2,000 feet over an active volcano, the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua. Nik’s wife and Wallenda’s mother, Erendira, successfully executed a stunt of her own by performing an aerial routine that culminated with her dangling by her teeth over the massive crater.
Despite his extensive lineage of skilled stunt performers and possessing impressive abilities of his own, Amadaos Wallenda has chosen to walk a different path - at least for now.
The 18-year-old Sarasota, Fla., native enlisted in the Army. He is currently a student in the Radiographic Technologist program at the Medical Education and Training Campus (METC) on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Radiographic technologists are medical specialists who use x-rays and other diagnostic imagery to create images of internal organs and bones to help doctors diagnose and treat diseases and injuries. The METC program is consolidated with Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard students.
Wallenda said he hadn’t planned to join the military, even though his older brother is a Marine. “A recruiter came up to me during wrestling practice,” he explained. “I guess I just wanted to try something different.”
Although Wallenda also played football in high school and is a boxer as well, it was his high school wrestling coach who influenced his decision to choose the radiology career field.
“My wrestling coach was in the Army for a very long time, and he told me it would be a mistake if I didn’t go x-ray tech,” he acknowledged. “Obviously I listened to him.”
Wallenda seems happy with his decision. “It’s fun. It’s a little challenging, but with studying it’ll be fine. It’s not too bad.”
After graduating as a Radiology Specialist on April 6th, Wallenda will be going to Fort Campbell, Ky. to begin his first assignment.
While he may do something else down the road, he is excited about his new career. “I can definitely see myself doing this for a long time.”
Watch a video of Pfc. Amadaos Wallenda talking about why he serves: https://www.facebook.com/MedicalCoE/videos/1454876524690943/