Events

April 12, 2012

The writing on the “Walls”

Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The “Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona” open house will feature many showcases, mostly centered on aerial displays. But one exhibit takes us from the skies to the ground and across thousands of miles to the sands of Iraq, where the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group sparked a movement that would come to be known as the ‘Walls of Balad’.

The ‘Walls of Balad’ are literally the recreation room walls of the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility at Joint Base Balad in Iraq. Patients, whether civilian or servicemembers, were encouraged to write their prayers, thoughts and feelings on the walls while they awaited transport to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

The walls are filled with the names of fallen comrades, squadron slogans, and words of thanks to the treatment center staff.

When the hospital closed, the walls were cut into segments and shipped to the 309th Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group here.

“These walls that comforted so many clearly wear the scars of battle,” said Col. Patrick Kumashiro, 309th AMARG commander. “They are poignant memorials to our military members that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and to our medical professionals that assisted our wounded warriors in their recovery.”

S. Ward Casscells M.D., former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Health Affairs, visited Balad during his time in office. Amid the names, dates and pictures, he added his own message.

“Bless you patriots,” he wrote. “America is so proud of you.”

The 309th AMARG will assemble three of the six walls and two doors as part of the open house exhibit. Attendees of the 2012 open house will be able to view the walls and look into the hearts and minds of individuals who were fighting for the freedom of a country in a foreign land.

“It’s a privileged opportunity for the Air Force to share the Balad Walls legacy with Tucson,” Kumashiro said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photo by David S Ricker/Aerotech News and Review

Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona brings fun and flight to Tucson Skies

More than 130,000 people converged on Davis-Monthan AFB April 14 and 15 to watch a spectacular display of aeronautic stunts and tour one-of-kind static displays. Although the weather was overcast and unseasonably chilly, …
 
 

Welcome to the 2012 D-M Airshow

On behalf of the men and women of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, welcome to this year’s “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” Open House. We are honored to have you here as our guests. Our goal is to make your visit with us as enjoyable as possible. This year’s show will prove to be an exciting...
 
 

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Leadership

The 355th Fighter Wing is the host unit at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Davis-Monthan AFB is home to 6,100 military and 1,200 civilians. It is one of the largest and busiest Air Force bases in the United States.  Commander, Colonel John A. Cherrey  Colonel John A. Cherrey is the commander of the 355th Fighter Wing,...
 

 

Air Force’s Combat Search and Rescue capabilities

During Thunder and Lightning over Arizona, spectators can witness a mission unique to the Air Force, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), through a demonstration simulating the rescue of an injured U.S. Marine, injured by an IED while on patrol. Air Force members from Davis-Monthan and the Air National Guard will showcase their capabilities. The 354th...
 
 

Hometown Hero flies with Thunderbirds

Dr. Peter Rhee, Chief of Trauma at the University of Arizona Medical Center, has been chosen as the Hometown Hero for the “Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona” open house and will receive an incentive flight with the Thunderbirds. Dr. Rhee can be called many things. To his patients he is a doctor. To his colleagues...
 
 

F-16 Alert Launch

Since September 2001 “Operation Noble Eagle”, part of the 162d Fighter Wing, has been a 24-7 alert rapid reaction force dedicated to preventing an attack on the United States. These Airmen and F-16s scramble at a moment’s notice to ensure aerospace control over more than 225-thousand square miles – including Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin