Family Day draws 1,000 to Air Guard Base
By Master Sgt. Philip Speck, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 08, 2012
KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, KY. -- More than 1,000 Kentucky Air National Guardsmen and their family members gathered here today to celebrate Family Day with a picnic lunch and a variety of family-friendly activities at 123rd Airlift Wing Headquarters.
The day's events featured a corn hole tournament, children's games, live music provided by the Louisville Veterans Affairs Hospital band "Cadillac Shack," and rides in the wing's Mini C-130, a customized golf cart designed to replicate the transport aircraft, said David Rooney, director of family readiness programs.
Additionally, over 20 organizations like the Department of Veterans Affairs, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and numerous schools came out to support the event, providing information on benefits and programs available to Airmen and their families.
"We're very pleased with the turnout this year and received a lot of positive feedback on the events," Rooney said. "I think our family members really enjoyed the activities, but more importantly, I think they appreciated the fact that this day was set aside to show our gratitude for the support they provide our Airmen every day of the year, all year long. Our family members serve just as much as the Airmen do, and they need to know how much their service means to our mission, our commanders and all the Airmen on base."
A commander's call kicked off the day's events with messages from Col. Greg Nelson, wing commander; Chief Master Sgt. Curtis Carpenter, wing command chief; and Linda Ringleka, the wing's director of psychological health.
During the commander's call, Brandi Wardrip was commissioned into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Wardrip, the wife Kentucky Air Guardsman Master Sgt. John Wardrip, has been president of the Family Readiness Group here since February 2009. During that time, she has supported numerous deployments and special events.
"She has absolutely been an integral part on the morale and welfare activities on this base, along with deployment outreach and helping answer questions from family members whose spouses are deployed overseas," Rooney said.