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2018 in review: A culture of caring continued at Wright-Patt

Published: Friday, January 11, 2019 @ 10:46 AM

            From left: Dixie Champagne, Kaylee Bowers, and Hannah Wegner, along with other members of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base chapel community traveled to the Houston, Texas, for a week in January, 2018, to help restore homes devastated by Hurricane Harvey, which hit the area in late August, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo)
From left: Dixie Champagne, Kaylee Bowers, and Hannah Wegner, along with other members of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base chapel community traveled to the Houston, Texas, for a week in January, 2018, to help restore homes devastated by Hurricane Harvey, which hit the area in late August, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base personnel, as individuals or team members, rose to many challenges during 2018. Here’s a look back at the culture of caring on base:

Volunteer and Community Outreach

• Members of the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group’s 71st Intelligence Squadron invited a local student who lives with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the digestive system, to join their ranks. The 71st asked Tori to join the squadron as an honorary member in recognition and admiration of her strength, grit and positive attitude toward life and battling this incurable disease.

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• Hundreds of people from Wright-Patterson AFB and the local community gathered April 17 at the annual International Fair to get a taste of the cultures, crafts, clothing, folklore and cuisine of many of the base’s partner nations. The fair was hosted by the International Spouses’ Group and many of the Foreign Liaison Officers stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB. Seventeen countries participated this year by presenting native cuisine, dances and cultural performances. Ticket proceeds benefited scholarships for international students attending college in the United States.

• Free wedding dresses, prizes and giveaways highlighted the “Marry Me Military Too” event May 27. The event, which took place last year for the first time in this area, was hosted by the USO and the Holiday Inn, 2800 Presidential Drive. The 2nd annual event was designed for active-duty military or the fiancée of an active-duty member. Guard and Reserve members were also eligible.

• Capt. Robert Cost, an intelligence team chief with the 445th Operations Support Squadron, and his wife, Capt. Emily Cost, of the Army National Guard, work with service dogs at Circle Tail Inc. in Pleasant Plain, Ohio. Circle Tail is a non-profit organization that trains service dogs to provide various levels of support for people with disabilities. Some of these canines become service dogs that assist people with a variety of physical disabilities. Not only do the Costs bring dogs into their home, they also participate in education outreach programs that teach children and adults about service dogs and how to interact with them.

• A Wright-Patterson AFB community partnership event was held at the Religious Education Facility in the Prairies housing area Oct.12, bringing together more than 40 helping agencies. It was a free networking event open to public agencies that target outreach, prevention, new parent support, victim advocacy and maltreatment. The goal was to help attendees become educated on the Wright-Patterson AFB Family Advocacy Program and other community services available in the local area.

• Harlem Globetrotter Briana “Hoops” Green spoke to children at the Wright-Patterson AFB Child Development Center Dec. 4. The Globetrotters talk to children about bullying as part of their ABCs of Bullying Prevention Program. The program was designed with the National Campaign to Stop Violence and targets children ages 6 to 12 years old. Green spoke to the children about teamwork and what it means to be a team and how to support their peers. The idea of the visit is to give kids a chance to learn about bullying and how to prevent it in a fun and interactive way. Hoops taught kids important ways they can support each other and stop bullying while showing them basketball tricks.