WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
Ten Airmen will be getting a free ticket home for the holidays this year thanks to the Whiteman Base Community Council. The Airmen first heard the news during the inaugural Bomber Ball fundraiser event held at the University of Central Missouri on Nov. 16, 2018.
“Last year was our first year hosting the Airman Home for the Holidays and we were able to send five Airmen home,” said Karl
Kramer, the Whiteman BCC president.
The opportunity came just in time for two of the Airmen, whose hometowns in Puerto Rico were devastated by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. They were both able to be there with their family and friends in a time of need.
“As we looked into 2018, we wanted to have a larger impact, so we elected to change that five to 10,” said Kramer. The rank restriction was also lifted to allow non-commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers the opportunity as well. Each Airman was nominated by their supervisors and were asked to submit a 250-word essay on what going home for the holidays means to them.
The cost of the plane tickets was not a factor in the selection process, with some of the Airmen traveling as close as California, and others flying outside the United States to West Africa and South Korea.
“We are proud to be part of such an awesome opportunity,” Kramer said. “We truly care for Whiteman’s Airmen and their families – that is at the core of what our mission is as the Base Community Council.”
Currently, the BCC is made up of more than 350 members who represent 18 communities, from California, Missouri, to Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The purpose of the council is to enhance relations between Whiteman AFB and its surrounding communities. In addition to the Airman Home for the Holidays program, the funds raised by the BCC go to support programs like Adopt-an-Airman, Key Spouse Initiatives, which offer support to military families, and the Stealth Lounge, which offers to support to young Airmen at Whiteman.
Congratulations to the 10 Airmen who were selected for the Airman Home for the Holidays program:
Airman 1st Class Gary J. Yoonfield, 509th Munitions Squadron
Airman 1st Class Devon E. Navarro, 509th Maintenance Squadron
Airman 1st Class Tyler S. Dedmon, 509th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Senior Airman Chelsey N. Reynolds, 509th Force Support Squadron
Airman 1st Class Angel Perez, 509th Medical Operations Squadron
Airman 1st Class Damien P. Waterman, 509th Operations Support Squadron
Senior Airman Pierce A. Jolly, 131st Maintenance Squadron
Senior Airman Jeftha N. Amoah, 442nd Force Support Squadron
Airman Matthew R. Leach, 358th Fighter Squadron
Airman 1st Class Brandon W. Alford, 20th Attack Squadron