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.


 
 

 

My personal leadership philosophy

My personal leadership philosophy can be summed up in just a few words — people first, mission always. Some may mistake the phrase “people first, mission always” as a dictum to coddle unit personnel through adversity, but actually, my focus is on preparing them to overcome adversity. The mission will always press on, but without...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

“Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life and job. Some common...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
TIMOTHY BOYER

Luke plays role in saving species

Staff Sgt.TIMOTHY BOYER A team of wildlife specialists prepare a Sonoran pronghorn for release into the wild at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Ajo. Sixty-nine pronghorn were captured this year. Of those, more tha...
 

 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Road closure Litchfield Road at Northern Parkway is closed daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday to paint the bridge overpass, weather permitting. Northern Parkway will remain open. Reems Road and Dysart Road are alternate routes. For more information, call MCDOT at 480-350-9288. MLK luncheon There will be a Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

MWD Roy — partner, friend passes

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Scott Emmick, 56th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, and Roy, 56th SFS MWD, play Dec. 14, 2012, at the at Luke Air Force Base kennels. The MWD and handler team plays to...
 
 

46 graduate ALS in class 15-1

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 45 senior airmen and one staff sergeant Dec. 11 from class 15-1. The graduates are senior airmen unless otherwise noted. John L. Levitow award: Nathaniel Gladney, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Distinguished graduates: Matthew Goodspeed, 56th Operations Support Squadron; Russell Hires, 56th Medical Support Squadron; James Gilmore, 56t...
 




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