Veterans

September 27, 2013

AFSA celebrates 66th Air Force birthday at Lancaster vet home

Veteran, Earl “Andy” Andrews, former Navy aviator, cuts the Air Force birthday cake surrounded by Air Force Sergeants Association volunteers and several other residents. AFSA served a barbeque lunch at the Lancaster Veterans Home of California Sept. 18, in honor of the 66th Air Force birthday.

Members of the Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 1328 hosted a barbecue lunch at the Lancaster Veterans Home of California Sept. 18, in honor of the 66th U.S. Air Force birthday. AFSA provided burgers, hotdogs and a birthday cake.

“I think the Air Force birthday is important because it’s a tradition that we uphold every year,” said Tech. Sgt. Kristen Davis, Air Force Test Center Judge Advocate office and lead person for the event. “To celebrate it with veterans who could have been there during the separation [from the Army Air Corps], or when we were born, then it’s kind of the old and the new and that’s what birthdays are really about.”

Lawrence Hawkins, supervising rehabilitation therapist at the home, said that AFSA has been sponsoring a number of events for the veterans, like the annual Super Bowl party and a trip to a Los Angelese Dodgers game. The residents are also invited to shop at the Exchange once a month.

“When I contacted Staff Sgt. Michael Burd (412th Communication Squadron) and asked if they would bring a cake he told me, ‘Cake? Are you kidding? We’ll come out and throw you guys a barbeque,’” said Hawkins. “We have a wonderful working relationship with the base; they are so supportive of us.”

AFSA has hosted an Air Force birthday celebration for the home since their opening four years ago. In previous years, the celebration was just a cake and flag ceremony. This year was the “biggest one yet” with cake, the barbeque and traditional Korean dancers.

Members of the Air Force Sergeants Association served a barbeque lunch at the Lancaster Veterans Home of California Sept. 18, in honor of the 66th Air Force birthday.

Staff Sgt. Adam Shura, AFTC command chief executive, said that volunteering with veterans taught him respect. He remarked that when he walks in the veterans will thank him for his service and he immediately responds by saying, “No, thank you for your service, because without you we wouldn’t be here.”

Shura grew up in a family with a long history of service. Learning from his grandfathers and seeing where they served gave him a greater sense of “drive and pride.” He has volunteered at the home on numerous occasions including decorating doors for Christmas. He brings his daughter along and she is excited to spend time with and talk to the residents. He commented that listening to their stories is his favorite part of their visits.

“I think it’s important because we’re losing that era and my children will never have the opportunity to meet the Greatest Generation. So to be able to bring them down here and give them that opportunity is something that they’ll never get another chance to do again,” said Shura.

Eugene Dimonaco, a resident at the home, served in the Air Force during the Korean War. “I was in the motor pool and we used to drive the pilots around San Francisco,” said Dimonaco. “I wish I would have stayed in longer, I was only in for 18 months. I got an honorable discharge but I still wish I’d stayed in longer.”

Tech. Sgt. Brody Anderson (left), 412th command chief executive assistant, visits with residents during the 66th Air Force birthday barbeque celebration at the Lancaster Veterans Home of California Sept. 18.

“It’s very important that [the enlisted men and women] care,” said Dimonaco while he waited for the barbeque to begin.

After lunch, Naval Air Corps veteran, Earl “Andy” Andrews, 92-years-old, cut the birthday cake surrounded by the AFSA volunteers.

“When the war started I went into navy training for two-and-a-half-years and got in the last months of the war,” said Andrews, “And I’ve flown just about everything.”

Andrews still flies today and says that living in the veteran’s home he is “spoiled” because “it’s like living in heaven.”

“I think it’s so important that the people who are currently serving our country see how we treat our vets,” said Hawkins. “It’s just a great interaction that our vets know that those currently serving care about them and its good for our current vets to see that they’re going to be well taken care of later on.”

Burd, who is the local AFSA vice president, said visiting the home feels like visiting “family.” He added that AFSA hosts various fundraisers throughout the year to fund events like this. One fundraiser in particular is a Wounded Warrior 5K, the proceeds help sponsor base events too, like A Day at the Park.

“We’re very comfortable here. We show up and they don’t treat us any differently, we’re all brothers and sisters in arms. It’s not as though we’re outsiders coming in, we’re family here visiting,” said Burd. “We have all ranks, retirees and even civilians who come from Edwards to volunteer. It really, truly is one team, one fight.”

Following the barbecue lunch, there was a special performance by a traditional Korean dance group to entertain the audience.




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


 
 

 

Headlines August 18, 2014

News: U.S. mission in Iraq could expand, Pentagon official says - The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government, a Pentagon spokesman said Aug. 19.   Business: Fuel deals top...
 
 

News Briefs August 20, 2014

Trials complete on fourth Coast Guard cutter Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., has completed acceptance sea trials for the company’s fourth U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter, Hamilton. Jim French, Ingalls’ NSC program manager, tells The Mississippi Press) the Hamilton is scheduled to be delivered next month and commissioned on Dec. 6 in Charleston, South...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval

Air Force, Army Aviation come together to complete vital mission in Egypt

Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval Soldiers and airmen load a UH-60 Black Hawk into an Air Force C17 Globemaster III Aug. 19, 2104, at an old Israeli airstrip in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. The airstrip is now used by the M...
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden

Joint effort validates ability to move Stryker vehicles via air

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden An Army Stryker combat vehicle is guided into a C-17 Globemaster III during a 25th Infantry Division training exercise Aug. 13, 2014, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The Str...
 
 
NASA image

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

NASA image Satellites observed the largest ozone hole over Antarctica in 2006. Purple and blue represent areas of low ozone concentrations in the atmosphere; yellow and red are areas of higher concentrations. NASA research show...
 
 

F-16V completes major capability milestone

The newest configuration of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-16V, has reached a major capability milestone with the integration of a new Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Completing this milestone on schedule demonstrates our ability to meet program commitments, said Roderick McLean, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed...
 




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>