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Dobbins Airmen hold memorial run to honor fallen Port Dawgs, raise money for Fisher House Foundation

Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Herold, 80th Aerial Port Squadron operations superintendent, reminds members to embrace the wingman concept and take care of one another during the 2nd Annual Port Dawg Memorial Run May 15, 2016 on Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. The one-mile run is in honor of their fallen, both on and off the battlefield. During National Defense Transportation week, aerial port squadrons across the U.S. Air Force take this time to pay respect to those in their career field who have made the ultimate sacrifice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. James Branch)

Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Herold, 80th Aerial Port Squadron operations superintendent, reminds members to embrace the wingman concept and take care of one another during the 2nd Annual Port Dawg Memorial Run May 15, 2016 on Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. The one-mile run is in honor of their fallen, both on and off the battlefield. During National Defense Transportation week, aerial port squadrons across the U.S. Air Force take this time to pay respect to those in their career field who have made the ultimate sacrifice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. James Branch)

Members of the 80th Aerial Port Squadron participate in the 2nd Annual Port Dawg Memorial Run May 15, 2016 on Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. The one mile run is in honor of their fallen, both on and off the battlefield. During National Defense Transportation week, aerial port squadrons across the U.S. Air Force take this time to pay respect to those in their career field who have made the ultimate sacrifice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. James Branch)

Members of the 80th Aerial Port Squadron participate in the 2nd Annual Port Dawg Memorial Run May 15, 2016 on Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. The one mile run is in honor of their fallen, both on and off the battlefield. During National Defense Transportation week, aerial port squadrons across the U.S. Air Force take this time to pay respect to those in their career field who have made the ultimate sacrifice. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. James Branch)

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- “We do this in honor of our fallen, both on and off the battlefield,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Herold, 80th Aerial Port Squadron operations superintendent, and coordinator of the 2nd Annual 80th APS Port Dawg Memorial Run.

After completing the one-mile run on May 15, he reminded squadron members that their profession can at times be dangerous, and has many inherent risks. He insisted each Airman belongs to a military family and should embrace the wingman concept in order to take care of one another.
This year, May 16 through 20 was deemed National Defense Transportation week by Presidential Proclamation. It is a period set aside to recognize the contributions of members of the National Defense Transportation network. Aerial Port Squadrons across the U.S. Air Force take this time to pay respect to those in their career field who have fallen.

“Last year, we learned that many units across the globe were holding Port Dawg Memorial runs and walks and making charity contributions, so the 80th APS jumped at the opportunity to hold one of our own here at Dobbins Air Reserve Base,” said Herold.

In efforts to make a donation to their chosen charity, the squadron raised funds by selling t-shirts to Airmen on base, exceeding last year’s contribution by 10 percent.

The 80th APS will present $1,100 to the Fisher House Foundation, a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving medical treatment. The homes are located at major military and Veteran Association medical centers nationwide. Since its founding in 1990, the foundation has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $320 million by covering their lodging and transportation costs.

In addition to serving as a unit fundraiser, the event is intended to build camaraderie and esprit de corps between all aerial porters, old and new.

For Senior Airman Santrevious Weaver, 80th APS air transportation specialist, this is the first opportunity to participate in a memorial run. He has been a member of the squadron since September 2015.

“I’m very humbled to serve as the guide-on bearer for this run,” he said. “Not only is this done in remembrance of our fallen brothers and sisters, but it’s also to instill trust for one another in each of us. I look forward to participating next year”

Col. Col Kelvin McElroy, 22nd Air Force director of logistics, engineering and force protection, participated in the run along with other members of senior leadership. Near the conclusion, Col. Marty Hughes, 94th Mission Support Group commander, thanked squadron members for making the event a success, and 94 Airlift Wing Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Danford gave words of encouragement, honoring fallen aerial porters.

“We are grateful for the support of the 94th AW leadership for making this event a wing priority, so it may be held for many years to come,” said Herold.

Fallen 80th APS members include Tech. Sgt. Tina Walker, Staff Sgts. Isaac S. Gervasio, Michael Proud and Nicholas Santandrea, and Senior Airman Tyler Foster.