Honor Their Service: Ellsworth airmen support Tyndall AFB as it rebuilds

The United States was built on people fighting for freedom and the freedom of generations to come. We here at NewsCenter1 want to recognize those people and those who advocate for them here at home. This week’s segment of “Honor Their Service,” shows how Ellsworth airmen are helping Tyndall Air Force Base recover after Hurricane Michael.

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – It’s been over a month since Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida as the strongest storm to hit the United States since 2004. Now, at a devastated Tyndall Air Force Base, the cleanup process is ongoing.

Being 1,700 miles from a devastated Air Force base doesn’t stop Ellsworth airmen from helping. But even they need support from the people back home.

“We collectively came together and said, ‘You know what? Let’s get something together and get donations we can send over,” said SMSgt. Saul Marquez from the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron at Ellsworth AFB. “You have so many folks there, because you have folks from here, folks from so many different bases.”

They’re working to get the base back to what it used to be – and doing it without access to common necessities.

“We were asked to get insoles in particular because they’re all on their feet all day long,” said MSgt. Sara Sadler the non-commissioned officer in charge of air traffic control training. “And then hygiene items and snacks and easy foods to cook.”

For weeks, collection points around Ellsworth have been visited by people willing to give to those affected. They’re people they may never meet, but they still offer to help from afar.

“It’s not just how many people. It’s how many people from so many different avenues, you know, so many different squadrons on base, so many different groups on base. You know, folks who nobody – who don’t know anybody who was there. You know, just donating for this,” said Marquez.

In total, 279 pounds of goods were packed up Tuesday and shipped Wednesday – all ready to go down to the coast.

“This is just a way for us to take care of our airmen that we’ve sent ahead and are sacrificing so much, you know, being away from their families, being away from power, being away from any kind of, you know, regular meals,” said Sadler.

“We set aside our jobs; we set aside all that because we’re all airmen and we’re all brothers and sisters. So that’s just awesome to see,” Marquez said.

The boxes were donated by Runnings, and the cost for shipping was donated by the Air Force Sergeants Association, local chapter.

Categories: Honor Their Service, Local News, NC1 Series, South Dakota News