Air Force

April 11, 2014

Airmen shave heads for pilot’s son battling cancer

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Senior Airman David Owsianka Senior Airman David Owsianka
Airmen from the 62nd Fighter Squadron recently shaved their heads to support a deceased officer’s son who is battling with cancer.
Second Lt. Dave Mitchell, former 62nd FS pilot, lost his life during a training mission in 2008 at Luke Air Force Base. Five years later, his son Brayden was diagnosed with a stage three Wilms tumor, a cancer of the kidneys.

Kristi Mitchell, Brayden’s mom, reached out to her husband’s friends asking them to help lift her son’s spirits after he began chemotherapy treatment. They came up with the idea of asking Airmen in squadrons throughout the Air Force to shave their heads and take photos in front of a squadron aircraft to send to Brayden.

Here at Luke, everybody in the 62nd FS and 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit got involved.

“It feels great to support a 62nd family member,” said Capt. Nicholas Rallo, 62nd FS instructor pilot. “It’s a good example that even in passing, once you’re a member of this family, you and your family will always be part of it.”

The 62nd AMU began by painting the names of Brayden and his father on an F-16’s tail flash. The pilots of the 62nd FS then shaved their heads and posed for a group photo in front of the aircraft.

“Brayden, who loves airplanes, was ecstatic to see his name on the side of an F-16 with all of our 62nd pilots’ shaved nuggets,” Rallo said.

Brayden and his mother Kristi are delighted with all the photos they’ve been receiving.

“Brayden loves seeing all the photos of everyone shaving their heads for him,” Kristi said. “At the hospital where Brayden is being treated, he was asked to draw a picture of what makes him happy. His response was, ‘It makes me happy that all of the Air Force people shaved their heads for me.’”

Capt. Michael DeVita, 23rd Bomb Squadron B-52 instructor pilot, and 16 other members of his squadron at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., recently shaved their heads to support the young boy’s fight against cancer.

“It’s just to keep his spirits up and keep him strong so he can fight through the chemo and move past this,” DeVita said. “Hair is a small thing; fighting cancer is a tough thing.”

On Feb. 26, Brayden was able to watch 150 other deployed Airmen shave their heads all the way from Afghanistan. The boy was overwhelmed with happiness as he watched via video chat, said his mother.

“We just want to thank everyone who has been a part of the ‘Go Bald for Brayden,’” Kristi said. “The support from the Air Force has been amazing. Though we lost Dave six years ago, the support from our Air Force friends has never wavered, and we are grateful to be a part of the Air Force family.”

Kristi believes when Brayden gets older he will truly understand how big a deal this really has been.

“He has touched so many people in such a short amount of time,” Kristi said. “We are so humbled and blessed to know such amazing people.”




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


 
 

 

Fighting Falcons arrive at Holloman

Courtesy photo Six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 308th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base arrive in formation June 16 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 308th FS has inactivated and the soon to be activated 314th FS assumes the 308th FS mission of training F-16 pilots as a 56th Fighter Wing...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Hecker assumes command of 19th Air Force

Courtesy photo Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, presents the unit guidon to Maj. Gen. James Hecker during the 19th Air Force assumption of command ceremony June 23 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolp...
 
 

Air Force News – June 26, 2015

Alaska Firefighters from the 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson recently assisted with the Division of Forestry’s efforts in containing the Sockeye wildfire near Willow. The fire is estimated to cover more than 7,000 acres of land.   Virginia The 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games opened June 19 with about 250 athletes...
 

 

People First – June 26, 2015

EPME enrollment notifications begin The Air Force Personnel Center recently initiated a phased approach to notify approximately 83,000 Airmen of the requirement to enroll in the applicable enlisted professional military education distance learning course. AFPC will notify 20,000 Airmen at the beginning of each month until all members have been notified. In July 2014, the Air...
 
 

Air Force News – June 19, 2015

Poland In support of Baltic Operations 2015 June 5 through 20, a team of Airmen from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron deployed to Powidz Air Base, maintained communication requirements for the Air Force at the installation. Baltops is a multinational maritime exercise designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability. Southwest Asia Since Aug. 8, coalition airpower...
 
 

People First – June 19, 2015

Selected MSgt evals close out Sept. 30 Regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve master sergeant and master sergeant-select enlisted performance reports will now close out annually on Sept. 30. In addition, as of June 3, , master sergeants and selects will no longer receive change-of-reporting-official EPRs. Enlisted Evaluation System and Weighted...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>