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Local pit masters host BBQ for Airmen, families

‘Uncle’ Leroy Payne, local Spokane pit master, speaks with Airmen July 28, 2018, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Payne and his team composed of military veterans, their families and friends, cooked more than 150 smoked rib racks, 300 pounds of pulled pork and various side dishes to show appreciation for Fairchild Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nick Daniello)

‘Uncle’ Leroy Payne, local Spokane pit master, speaks with Airmen July 28, 2018, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Payne and his team composed of military veterans, their families and friends, cooked more than 150 smoked rib racks, 300 pounds of pulled pork and various side dishes to show appreciation for Fairchild Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nick Daniello)

Team Fairchild Airmen line up to receive free barbeque July 28, 2018 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. More than 200 Airmen and their families attended the free-food event that included a corn-hole tournament, kid’s games, water-balloon toss and a three-legged race. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nick Daniello)

Team Fairchild Airmen line up to receive free barbeque July 28, 2018 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. More than 200 Airmen and their families attended the free-food event that included a corn-hole tournament, kid’s games, water-balloon toss and a three-legged race. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nick Daniello)

A Fairchild Airman puts sauce onto a pulled-pork sandwich July 28, 2018 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Payne and his team composed of military veterans, their families and friends, cooked more than 150 smoked rib racks, 300 pounds of pulled pork and various side dishes to show appreciation for Fairchild Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nick Daniello)

A Fairchild Airman puts sauce onto a pulled-pork sandwich July 28, 2018 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. Payne and his team composed of military veterans, their families and friends, cooked more than 150 smoked rib racks, 300 pounds of pulled pork and various side dishes to show appreciation for Fairchild Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nick Daniello)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --

Team Fairchild hosted a free barbeque event for all Airmen and their families July 28, at Miller Park.

‘Uncle’ Leroy Payne, local Spokane pit master, and his team composed of military veterans, their families and friends, cooked more than 150 smoked rib racks, 300 pounds of pulled pork and various side dishes to show appreciation for Fairchild Airmen.

“Cooking is just a small way we are able to say thank you,” said Payne. “This is for all the people who dedicate their lives to keep us free and safe.”

Payne and his team worked months in advance to accomplish one day of feeding Airmen. Year after year the team comes out to give back to Team Fairchild.

“It’s the best way we know of to give back. It’s a lot of work but it’s a labor of love,” Payne said.

In addition to the free barbeque, Team Fairchild’s First Sergeants hosted a corn-hole tournament, kid’s games, water-balloon toss and a three-legged race.

“We wanted to build camaraderie and unite Airmen and families for a day of fun,” said Master Sgt. Justin Privratsky, 92nd Medical Group first sergeant. “What a better way to do that than around barbeque and family fun events?”