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News in brief: April 6, 2018

Published: 03:13PM April 9th, 2018

Gold Star Spouses and families are invited for a day at the zoo

In honor of National Gold Star Spouses Recognition Day Thursday, Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Survivor Outreach Services is partnering with Sarah Vargo, SOS coordinator at Camp Murray, for a Gold Star Spouses event at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium April 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.

The event is free for Gold Star family members. Friends and others interested in attending can do so but must pay for their own zoo admittance. Preregistration is required, at Additional information will be emailed to participants after they register, concerning where to get into the zoo and how to pick up tickets.

“So many times we get together and it’s really sad; but, this is a day to embrace happiness, it shouldn’t always be sad,” said Tina Mann, financial counselor for JBLM’s Survivor Outreach Services.

“So few people know what a wonderful zoo we have right in out backyard,” Mann said. “And, it’s right by the water, so after they go to the zoo, families can go walk by the water and spend the whole day if they want.”

Ruth Kingsland, Northwest Guardian

Holocaust Day of Remembrance Observance is Thursday on JBLM

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 2018 Holocaust Day of Remembrance Observance will be held Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the Lewis North Chapel. The event is open to everyone who has base access.

Colonel Jay Miseli, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division commander, will host the event

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of more than 6 million Jewish men, women and children, and people with mental and physical disabilities, as well as other ethnic, religious and social groups targeted by the Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s.

I Corps

Team McChord kicks off 2018 Air Force Assistance Fund campaign

Team McChord kicked off the annual Air Force Assistance Fund campaign Monday on McChord Field. The campaign runs through May 4 with a local goal of $51,872 in donations.

The AFAF is an annual effort to raise funds for charitable affiliates that provide support to Air Force members in need, to include active duty, reservists, guard and family members, including surviving spouses.

“It’s an awesome opportunity to help those in need,” said Senior Master Sgt. Matt Dinunzio, an Air Force Assistance Fund campaign installation project officer and 62nd Aerial Port Squadron air freight superintendent. “We, as Airmen, give back and care for each other — and as an Air Force family, we’re bonded by some blood, sweat and tears.”

The four agencies members can donate to are:

• Air Force Aid Society,

• Air Force Enlisted Village,

• Air Force Villages Charitable Foundation,

• Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation.

These agencies provide support in an emergency with educational needs or a secure retirement home for Air Force widows or widowers in need of financial assistance.

Leadership from the 62nd Airlift Wing and 627th Air Base Group attended the kickoff and encouraged maximum participation from McChord Field Airmen.

“It’s through kindness and support of fellow Airmen that this program carries on,” Dinunzio said. “Without it this would die down and the four charities wouldn’t be able to support themselves like they do now. So I ask that folks reach out and contact each other, and then think about how we as Airmen can care for other Airmen.”

For more information about the Air Force Assistance Fund, its four charitable affiliates or to donate, contact your unit project officer.

62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

McChord Field aircrew members make an annual Moses Lake visit

McChord Field aircrew members went to Moses Lake, the 62nd Airlift Wing and 446th Airlift Wing’s primary auxiliary field for local training sorties, for an annual visit March 16.

The annual visit includes inspections by occupational safety, public health, bioenvironmental, flight safety and briefings from flight safety and the United States Department of Agriculture for pilot students and local fire department.

“Awareness of our operations serves to reduce the chances of midair collisions, promotes understanding of the ‘why’ behind what we are doing, “said Capt. Caroline Tetrick, 62nd Airlift Wing flight safety officer. “And it’s a public relations opportunity for the Air Force.”

The Big Bend Community College, based in Moses Lake, has an aviation course with new students every year. Each new class is briefed on midair collision avoidance.

“These student pilots are inexperienced and sometimes flying solo around the Moses Lake area,” Tetrick said. “They fly slow but maneuverable light aircraft that can be hard for C-17 pilots to pick out visually, especially when executing complex profiles in busy airspace.”

Student pilots had the opportunity to see a C-17 up close to give them a better frame of reference.

By keeping open communication and a regular presence in the area, the Air Force wants to ensure everyone can safely share Washington’s airspace.

62 Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The new Camp Lewis USO Center recently opened on Lewis Main

The Camp Lewis USO Center recently opened on Joint Base Lewis-McChord inside the ACU Building on Lewis Main.

The new USO center provides a lounge with free internet, TVs, computers, games and donated snacks and serves as a hub for family services and community outreach.

USO-NW’s Camp Lewis Center expands access to USO’s unique programs and services to the military members and their families stationed on Lewis Main. USO-Northwest forecasts the new USO center will serve about 50,000 service members and their families in the first year on Lewis Main — where more than 80 percent of the JBLM’s population resides.

USO-Northwest first launched this campaign in 2016 and received tremendous financial support from numerous groups, businesses, foundations and individual donors. The USO Northwest raised more than $250,000 in funds or in-kind donations to make the center possible.