Family donates bows to local Air Force installation in recognition of mission essential personnel

  • Published
  • By Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

ROME, N.Y. – A local central New York family has donated 10 handmade bows to honor and recognize mission essential employees still reporting to their duty location at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Rome Research Site while the other 90% of the workforce remains under work-from-home orders. 

The Information Directorate went into a mission critical posture March 20, reducing the total on-site personnel from 1,200 to 125. Due to the public health emergency status of the COVID-19 pandemic the duration of this posture is indefinite.  

Oneida County residents Shawna Papale and her daughters began making blue and white bows to share with the community as a way of recognizing mission essential personnel at organizations that must continue to operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Papale has donated bows to many businesses at Rome’s Griffiss Tech Park, making the lab one of many recipients to receive and display them in honor of the commitment of their personnel. 

The on-site Security Forces at the Lab hung the ten bows on various areas surrounding the facility perimeter April 29.

Vince Guza, the Information Directorate’s Chief of Security Forces shared a note of thanks to Shawna and her family, saying, “Though times have been tough for the past many days, your gesture of kindness definitely brightened our way!”

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: