Luke throws Back-to-School Bash

Airman 1st Class Sarah Wisler, 56th Communication Squadron network operations technician, assembles the spider portion of a canopy tent July 25, 2017 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

As another school year passes the Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Chapel teamed up with Fighter Country Partnership and the USO to prepare for the next Back-to-School Bash for upcoming students.

“This year’s Back-to-School Bash took place 5:30-8:30 p.m., July 26,” Tech. Sgt. Melissa Gavin, 56th Fighter Wing resource management NCO-in-charge. “This is a big event where we set up a day of fun for families with school-aged children while giving out free resources.”

This year’s back to school bash was the third consecutive event held where Thunderbolts come together to assist families and students with the upcoming preparation costs for the next school year.

“Last year was successful even though we had a major weather system come in,” Chaplain (Maj.) David Barns, 56th FW deputy wing chaplain. “The weather kept away some of our Thunderbolts, but it seems like each year the event grows in popularity. Last year we exceeded 400 attendees, but this year we are preparing for 800.”

Airman 1st Class Archilious Green, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron fuels systems journeyman, stacks boxes of chips for the Back-to-School Bash July26, 2017 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

The event is held for students in all grade levels, from first time students to high schoolers who are in need of supplies.

“During the event, we handed out backpacks filled with school supplies,” said Barns. “While receiving these school supplies, Thunderbolts were able to enjoy some food while enjoying activities, music and prizes.”

“This Back-to-School Bash is a fun way to end the summer vacation for students,” Barnes said. “I think this is a great morale booster for Thunderbolts. Every year we do this event, the community thanks us. We plan to keep it going, and I believe with all the help we get we can keep running the program for years to come.”

Chaplain (Maj.) David Barns and his son Jeff fill up a bounce house for the Back-to-School Bash July 26, 2017 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The event is held to help families with the annual school supply costs.


Thunderbolts begin to unload the Back-to-School Bash canopies July 25, 2017 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The event gives away school supplies to first time students up to high schoolers.

More Stories From This Author