93rd ARS makes giving a way of life

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kali L. Gradishar
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
It has been said that people think their troubles are colossal in comparison to what others face. Though, once they open their eyes to the world, they see that their troubles are nothing in light of what others must overcome.

This is one of the reasons the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron here has taken a leap into the community to find ways to make a difference.

"Volunteering is a great opportunity to educate ourselves and to serve others at the same time," said Lt. Col. Glenn LeMasters, 93rd Air Refueling Squadron commander. "With all this talent we have, it would be selfish of us not to go out and help others."

In August, the squadron hosted a night of fun for children from The Hutton Settlement, a children's home in Spokane Valley, at Wild Walls Climbing Gym in downtown Spokane.

The 93rd provided the rental equipment for the 10 children and two Hutton Settlement chaperones who attended the event. And after exerting all of their energy on the walls, the children were given a pizza party, also hosted by the squadron.

"The children had a great time and it seemed as though they really appreciated what we did for them," said 1st Lt. Brandon Cieloha, 93rd ARS executive officer. "While we were there, we asked them if they would like to do it again, which led to the bowling night that we provided for them the following month."

Approximately 25 children from the Hutton Settlement participated in the entertainment at the FunSpot for the Back to School Bowling event. Bowling lanes, batting cages and the miniature golf course were available for use by the children, and families of deployed servicemembers were also invited to attend.

Working hand-in-hand with other squadrons on base, the 93rd ARS joined together left-over morale money with the 92nd Operations Support Squadron and 92nd Air Refueling Squadron to help support the event, said the lieutenant.

On Oct. 12, spouses of 93rd ARS Airmen were given the opportunity fly in a KC-135 Stratotanker and view the refueling process to see first-hand the work their spouses accomplish day-to-day.

"It's important to get the families involved with the squadron to make them feel even more a part of the military family here," Lieutenant Cieloha expressed. "They were able to witness exactly what we do in the squadron as we refueled an F-15. They also caught a glimpse of how dangerous the mission can be with two aircraft so close in the air, but also how professional we are at accomplishing the mission."

The most recent venture into the community to volunteer was paying a visit to the U.S. Veterans Medical Center nursing home to spend some time with local veterans and share stories of experience.

"This was a classic example of today's combat warriors meeting with yesterday's combat warriors," added Lieutenant Cieloha. "This was a great opportunity for the veterans to share their old combat stories and for the younger guys to get a glimpse of the past."

Other philanthropic events the 93rd ARS has participated in recently include hosting a social gathering for the local Daedalians after an incentive flight and providing the former military pilots with squadron patches and stickers; attending a career day at a local elementary school to offer children with an idea of what it means to be in the Air Force; giving a tour of various base facilities to local Boy Scout troops; and attending a "show-and-tell at an elementary school to showcase various military career fields.

There is a purpose to each benevolent event, whether it is to heal, help, educate or listen, and each event can provide more motivation to extend a hand in any direction possible.

"It is important for us to be involved in the community and volunteer because people know that we're involved in the Global War on Terror, but there is much more to it than the combat operations overseas," said the lieutenant. "It's important for the community to see the faces behind the operations and see that we want to make a difference, not just overseas, but here too."