Veterans

April 5, 2013

Giving back to those who served

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force retired WWII veteran Mr. Thomas Perrow and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sammie Ervan, 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron pose for a photo while being welcomed home at the Tucson International Airport March 28. Both Perrow and Ervan participated in Honor Flight Southern Arizona where they toured national monuments of wars they fought in around the Washington D.C. area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths)

Two Airmen from the Desert Lightning Team shared the Washington D.C. experience with veterans from the Tucson community through Honor Flight Southern Arizona March 26-29.

Twenty-seven veterans and guardians got to see The World War II, Vietnam, Lincoln, Korean, Women’s and Air Force Memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery through Honor Flight Southern Arizona.

Honor Flight Southern Arizona is one of hundreds of centers throughout the U.S. The non-profit organization is made possible through the many volunteers who give through either volunteering or donating.

Senior Airman Sammie Ervan, 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron base support planning manager, and Tech. Sgt. Darren Firth, 355th Operation Support Squadron non commissioned officer in charge of air traffic control training and standardization, were selected by their leadership to take part in guiding a U.S. military veteran through the nation’s capitol.

“Guardians” are assigned one or two veterans.Their responsibilities are to escort them throughout the trip, as well as make sure he or she wakes up at a proper time, takes their medication and stays hydrated throughout the day. Both Ervan and Firth went through mandatory, essential training prior to the excursion.

“The training went over what the trip’s going to be like and what to expect,” Ervan said. “We also went over what should be done if something were to happen in an emergency situation. The veteran I’m guardian of is in a wheelchair. So, I had to learn how to set him in a wheelchair and the proper way to push him. With older people, they can injure themselves by just sitting a certain way in the wheelchair, so this ensures that they don’t get hurt.”
The veterans Ervan and Firth escorted shared many stories, but one story stood out.

“Mr. Jones, the veteran I escorted, was captured as a Prisoner of War for 23 months,” Firth said. “He was a tail gunner who was shot over the Baltic during WWII. He explained that he floated towards the land for a while and the Polish picked him up. About the time they got to land the Germans were waiting and they captured them. When they started breaking up the camps; Jones marched 600 miles over two and a half months in the winter to be liberated.”

Ervan and Firth said they both learned more than expected and would like to be involved with Honor Flight again.

“The whole trip was way better than I expected,” Ervan said. “The things I learned, the looks on the veteran’s faces when we got to the WWII Memorial were just breathe taking.”

Both Ervan and Firth would recommend anyone, especially active duty, be part of an Honor Flight if given the opportunity.

“I think it’s great for active duty, because many of us don’t fully appreciate and realize what they did,” said Firth. “I thought it was a once in a lifetime experience. And honestly, it was more than I expected. It kind of touches your heart seeing people at the terminals at the airport standing up clapping for the veterans. And 13-year-old kids coming up and shaking their hands, it’s pretty moving.”

For more information or to volunteer with HFT, visit them at http://www.honorflightsaz.org. or Airmen can contact their First Sergeant.




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


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)

AFSOUTH Liaison Officers: Embarking on a journey toward a promising future

Colonel Alex Voigt has only been serving as the Air Forces Southern Chilean Liaison Officer at Davis-Monthan for a couple of months, but with a history of Chilean LNOs reaching the rank of general and one even going on to serve...
 
 

D-M commander mixes it up with ‘The Morning Blend’

(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey) U.S. Air Force Col. James P. Meger, 355th Fighter Wing commander, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., talks with TV hosts, Tina Jennings and Maria Parmigiani, during a live recording of “The Morning Blend” at KGUN9 Studio, Tucson, Nov. 24. Meger went on the show to...
 
 

Let’s talk turkey: Prepare the perfect bird this holiday season

Whether having a big group over to share the Thanksgiving festivities or it’s just you and the Family, the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving table is the turkey. Guests will graze around the appetizer table careful not to fill their bellies in anticipation of the plump, juicy turkey and all the fixin’s. Most people aren’t world-renowned...
 

 
DoD

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service...
 
 

Officials highlight health, wellness resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – As efforts continue to strengthen service members and their families, Pentagon officials held a Bloggers Roundtable to highlight the myriad resources available to tackle the unique military and transitional challenges those who serve may face. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams, Marine Corps...
 
 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 




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