Wright-Patt hosts annual National Night Out to build on community bond

  • Published
  • By Kayla Prather
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The 88th Security Forces Squadron held its National Night Out at the Prairies military housing area Aug. 3.

“The capabilities we have out here put on display shows the support that we have for the community,” said Chief Master Sgt. Justin Walker, 88 SFS senior enlisted leader. “We like to take these opportunities to be able to show the community how we can support them and ultimately focus on that partnership side of it, including all the different first responders that come together to make it a safer community here at Wright-Patt.”

The annual event highlights and strengthens the relationship between emergency services and local communities by helping make the neighborhood a safer place. The night featured static displays and demonstrations to show families what security forces and firefighters do and how they actively work to help the community.

“This event shows me that Wright-Patt values family and community,” said Pamela Hitchins, a community member and parent who just moved here two weeks ago. “It’s great to see all these first responders here and be able to ask them any questions I have being new here. It’s nice to have them all readily available in one place.”

The squadron provided gear, a Humvee and patrol car display, and more to show families what it does day-to-day to protect and serve. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Fire Department and emergency medical services personnel also had vehicles and displays to help educate the local community on what they do and ways to stay safe.

“This event helps teach the kids what we do, how fun our job can be, and how we can help if they encounter any fire dangers,” said Lt. Keith Haskins, WPAFB Fire Department.

Kids at National Night Out enjoyed a bouncy house, cornhole, stickers, coloring books and more. The event included both a K-9 and bike patrol demonstration.

Families highlighted what it meant to see this kind of outreach and partnership where they live.

“My son (who) was born out here is 13 now, so he’s always been a part of the Wright-Patt community,” said Ken Hopkinson, a local resident and parent. “I think this event shows how the community is really tightknit and welcoming…we’ve always felt that and continue to do so during events like these.”

This event also provided a fun, interactive way to show how first responders actively work to protect the local community.

“We are out here today to show the community that we are here for them,” said Senior Airman Morgan Lettich, an 88 SFS Defender and main organizer for this year’s event. “We are here to make sure that they are safe, that they can sleep soundly at night and know that they have nothing to worry about.”

If you would like to report a crime or tip anonymously to 88 SFS, call 937-257-COPS.