Foxtrot Warrior Run VI charity supports local veteran
By Senior Airman Ashleigh Pavelek, 169th Fighter Wing
/ Published October 18, 2016
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Nearly 200 Airmen and Soldiers from the South Carolina National Guard and their families and friends ran in the Sixth Annual Foxtrot Warrior 5k/10k Run, here October 16, 2016.
The event was a "fit-to-fight" fundraising opportunity organized by the South Carolina Air National Guard's Top Three Committee to raise money for Airmen in need of financial assistance due to a short-term crisis.
"It's important for Airmen to support causes like this, because if we don't support one another and our wounded veterans, then we don't have a future," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Rachel Hill, non-commissioned officer in charge of dental services assigned to the 169th Medical Group and chairperson for this year's race.
This is the first Foxtrot Warrior Run to support local Airmen and veterans, and it is the first time it was organized to raise money for veterans of McEntire.
"Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Warm Heart Fund, sponsored by the Diamond Council, which is led by eight SCANG first sergeants," said Master Sgt. Joshua Thacker, quality assurance supervisor assigned to the 169th Maintenance Group and president of the Top Three Committee. "The other half of the proceeds will be donated to organizations that provide community outreach for wounded veterans."
This year's race helped a fellow Swamp Fox, Airman 1st Class Jamia Porcher, an aircraft electrician assigned to the 169th Maintenance Squadron and an augmentee for the 169th Security Forces Squadron. Porcher is recovering from an accident that occurred, June 7th. She was on her way to McEntire, when she was struck by a vehicle while stopping to help a motorist that was having car trouble.
"McEntire has been with me through this whole journey," said Porcher. "All of the hospital visits from the Airmen have motivated me to keep going faster and farther than what the doctors thought possible in my road to recovery."
Team Swamp Fox has a long-rooted history of promoting family values and togetherness. For Porcher, family means "making sure that everyone you love is taken care of." She said her spirits were high because she feels the "love and care" coming from her fellow Airmen.
Porcher was accompanied by many of her family members at the race, which included her mother, Michelle Annicchairico and her first cousin, Rasheda Knowlin.
"It's exciting to be here and see all of the support from everyone." said Knowlin.
Col. Nick Gentile Jr., commander of the 169th Fighter Wing, participated in the race with his wife and spoke heart-warming words of encouragement to Porcher and her family and to the participants of the run.
"We are grateful for Airman 1st Class Porcher's encouraging spirit, and the loving support of her family," said Gentile. "This is an incredible opportunity for Swamp Fox Airmen to support our local veterans and wounded warriors in the Midlands and South Carolina. We are always excited to come together to help our community and the proceeds are going to a great cause."
Airmen from all squadrons came together to help this event run smoothly. Members from the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron built a new bridge in less than four hours after learning the old bridge was washed away from Hurricane Matthew, less than one week prior to the race.
"It makes me feel great to put in the effort of building something in a moment's notice to help support others and to support this event," said Senior Airman Derrick Wilson, a heavy equipment specialist assigned to the 169th CES.
The race started near the base pond recreation site and routed the Swamp Fox runners through the woods and ended at the pavilion.
The number of participants of the Foxtrot Warrior Run have more than doubled from the previous year, with nearly 30 participants running the 10k race.
Team Swamp Fox would like to extend its appreciation to all the members of the Top Three Committee who helped with organizing this event, including Master Sgts. Rachel Hill, Troy Hubbard, Kate Jackson, Stewart Wright, Sharlene Shuler; Senior Master Sgts. Marvin Bradford and Stephen Rector. Also, a special thank-you to Airman 1st Class Jonathan Rattley for his setup and organization skills.