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Swamp Fox Airmen and Families Celebrate History and Diversity

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ashleigh Pavelek
  • 169th Fighter Wing/Public Affairs
Family, fun and fellowship fueled the atmosphere here during May's training weekend, May 14.

Airmen of the South Carolina Air National Guard and their families gathered for the 169th Fighter Wing's Family Day celebration to participate in numerous activities designed to entertain and educate them on the unit's mission.

"Family Day is a chance for us to show our Airmen and their families that we are thankful and appreciate their hard work and dedication," said 1st Lt. Sherryl Linkous, the health systems supervisor for the 169th Fighter Wing.

Families toured various show and tell exhibits and feasted on catered refreshments while accompanied by a live band. Children of all age groups played in bounce houses, received face paintings, toured the Department of Natural Resources' heritage trailer and climbed on and around static aircraft displays, just to name a few of fun activities offered.

"I love seeing all the families," said Airman 1st Class Kevin Fountain, a cyber systems operations apprentice assigned to the 169th Communications Flight. "My family had a great experience, and I feel closer to them knowing that they know what my mission is here at McEntire."

Static displays of a P-51 and TF-51 Mustang World War II vintage aircraft, a Swamp Fox F-16 fighter jet, Apache AH64-D and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the S.C. Army National Guard, and McEntire fire trucks provided hands-on fun for everyone.

Revving engines of race cars and a car and motorcycle show excited adults and children, while others time traveled "Back to the Future" with the familiar movie replica DeLorean car on display.

Children and parents kept a watchful eye on the sky to watch an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet in flight, and an aerial demonstration by a remote controlled miniature of a SCANG F-16, tail number 543.

"All in all, this year's Family Day celebration was a huge success and team Swamp Fox is very proud of our families and the sacrifice they make for us every day we wear our uniform," said Linkous.

In conjunction with this family day event, Airmen watched a performance of the "Tinikling" dance by the Filipino-American Association of Greater Columbia during the 6th annual Diversity Day that celebrated cultural diversity in the military. 

Various family support programs supported the event which included Family Readiness, Yellow Ribbon, Veterans' Assistance, McEntire Federal Credit Union and Military One Source.