Leaders, spouses help Airmen at holiday



by Donovan Jackson
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs


11/22/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- In celebration of Thanksgiving, Maxwell-Gunter leadership and key spouses showed what they're thankful for by conducting events aimed at giving back to Airmen.

"The events were created because installation leadership felt it was important as a community to show some appreciation and take care of our Airmen and their families," said Chief Master Sgt. Harry Hutchinson, 42nd Air Base Wing command chief.

The commissary packed 100 bags filled with Thanksgiving items that customers could purchase on behalf of an Airman. The purchased bags were then given to first sergeants for distribution amongst deserving Airmen as part of the Share the Joy program.

"The Maxwell-Gunter First Sergeant council approached the commissary regarding a fundraiser to help out military families during the holidays," said Master Sgt. Thomas Weir, Headquarters Air University, first sergeant. "The commissary conducted a similar food drive earlier in the year and it was successful, so we decided to use the same approach during our Share the Joy campaign."

"Every time a first sergeant is able to help out an Airman and their family, it's a good day," he said.

Additionally, the commissary in partnership with several major food and beverage vendors donated $5,700 in gift cards to the 42nd Air Base Wing.

Colonel Trent Edwards, wing commander, and base chief master sergeants handed out several gift cards to Airmen at the Airman's Attic.

The other gift cards were distributed to first sergeants to hand out to Airmen across Maxwell and Gunter.

Key spouses and first sergeants sponsored an event exclusively for the dorm residents called Minute to Win It. Airmen paired into teams and competed against each other in a series of mini-games and the winners were awarded prizes.

"Events like these codify that it's about unity of effort, compassion and understanding of the sacrifices that our Airmen and their families make," said Hutchinson. "They are critical to the base because it shows that leadership and the community cares. What we do should always be about the people, our most precious resource."