Falcons on ice

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sean Campbell
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The air is cold, the ice is slick and the sound of blades scoring the ice fills the rink, as the Fairchild Falcons hockey team conduct practice at the Eastern Washington University athletic complex.

The Falcons draw players from the active duty, guard, civilians, retirees and dependents from Fairchild and surrounding areas to create a fully integrated team.

"It makes me really proud to see Airmen and their dependents volunteer to play for the base," said Master Sgt. Richard Ortega, Fairchild Falcon's vice president. "Not just as individuals but as a team who represents the entirety of Fairchild."

The Falcons were formed in 2013 and have been evolving ever since. By using resources the base offers the Falcons were able to grow by spreading word to Airmen through programs like Right Start, added Ortega.

"Being a part of the team, it gave me the opportunity to meet new people and make friends while doing what I love," said Staff Sgt. DJ Fandel, 92nd Security Forces Squadron patrolman. "Once we go out on the rink, there is no rank involved. We act and work as a team."

The Falcons' head coach, James Warden, is currently a student at EWU. As a sophomore, he was offered the position of assistant coach from a teammate, who at the time was the Falcon's head coach. Warden accepted the position and has now been working with the Falcons for more than two years.

"It's awesome, I love working with the Airmen. They are always very respectful and highly talented as far as their work ethic goes," said Warden.

According to Warden, being able to help out both the communities at EWU and Fairchild is very rewarding.

"It's very exciting for me to be able to meet and get to know people outside my environment," Warden said. "It also gives me the opportunity to make connections, friends and to be able to learn more about military life."

Be sure to support the Fairchild Falcons Oct. 23 at EWU for their Blue and White game at 7 p.m. Admission is free!