WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Gate defenders in the 88th Security Forces Squadron at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base won’t have to go thirsty for a while, thanks to 51 cases of bottled water and power drinks donated by members of the Acquisition Excellence Directorate and the Logistics Directorate of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.
This is the second year logistics personnel have undertaken this project. After noticing defenders occupying military vehicles at the gates during last summer’s heat, several former military members who are civilians in the Logistics Directorate banded together to brainstorm and devise a way to help or show their support. Collecting money and shopping for beverages became their answer.
Last year they delivered 1,160 units of hydration to 88 SFS. This year the voluntary effort was expanded to include Acquisition Excellence Directorate personnel at Wright-Patterson AFB and resulted in a donation of a total of 1,704 units of water/power drinks, presented on behalf of both directorates by Col. Theresa Humphrey, deputy director, Logistics Directorate.
An email creating awareness of the project explained the impetus behind it: “Our Security Forces Airmen (Defenders) stand on the gate (or at their post) daily, providing each of us protection and the protection of our nation. They do this during all kinds of weather and under any condition,” it said. “To show our appreciation for their efforts we thought our purchase of water/flavored drinks delivered to their organization would help provide them some relief as they battle summer heat.”
“We were happy folks wanted to participate,” said Jennifer Melton, operations, Logistics Directorate. “Again, those personnel are out there in full gear 24 hours a day.”
“It encourages me to see that true civilians, with no military background, do something for the defenders or others in uniform and just give, without hesitation,” said Glynn Ward, a retired chief master sergeant and now a trainer in the Logistics Directorate. He and Charles McDaniel, another retired chief master sergeant, launched the project last year.
The results have been well received by the 88 SFS.
“It’s no mystery our defenders grind it out day in and day out on post,” said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Radcliffe, security forces manager, 88 SFS. “The little things like this really go a long way in highlighting that they are appreciated and recognized for their efforts. A donation of this magnitude honestly allows us to facilitate a means of equipping over 150 Airmen during the Air Force Marathon, which is a grueling day in the area of security and force protection.
“It will not only outfit defenders, but a myriad of Team Wright-Patt members who also step up to help us out with marathon day, as it could not be a success without all of us working together,” he said. “We cannot stress enough our gratitude to Mr. Ward and the entire team at the Logistics Directorate and Acquisition Excellence Directorate for making this a success!”
Ward said he and the other project participants are issuing a challenge to other groups, branches and offices.
“One thought we had was to challenge other units/squadrons to band together and do something for their defenders and/or first responders or other critical teams around the base – giving thanks to those who serve us, and resulting in a larger impact,” he said.