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Swamp Fox Airmen get muddy for a good cause

  • Published
  • By Amn. Megan Floyd
  • 169th Fighter Wing/Public Affairs
Financial hardships can strike anytime, and the Airmen of the South Carolina Air National Guard dove headfirst into helping by getting muddy for a good cause.

The McEntire First Sergeants' Council held a Mud Run prior to Saturday's Family Day to support a fundraising effort called The Warm Hearts Foundation, which supports Airmen who are facing an unexpected financial situation.  The first ever Life of a Warrior 5K Run was held May 2 and featured mud pits, a litter-carry exercise and 10 burpees during the run.

"The Warm Hearts Foundation is a non-profit organization that is operated by the First Sergeants' Council," said Master Sgt. Jason Bischoff, a first sergeant with the 169th Operations Group. "The organization offers monetary support to Airmen who are facing financial strain on the recommendation of their first sergeant."

There are two types of lending that may be done with this account, either a loan or a grant, said Bischoff. The loan would require the Airman pay back the money they receive with a written agreement between themselves and their respective first sergeant. Grants would not need to be paid back at all. The type of funding the Airman receives is dependent on their circumstances, as well as a vote from the Diamond Council on whether or not they qualify.

141 individuals participated in the run which included personnel from McEntire and their family members. For their $20 entry fee, they received a t-shirt and the satisfaction of lending a helping hand to their fellow Airmen across the base.

"I thought it was really cool, but my favorite part was the litter carry," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Benita Johnson, air crew flight equipment technician with the 169th Operations Support Squadron. "It made you work as a team, which is really what the whole race was about."

There are tentative plans to make this an annual event to coincide with Family Day, but nothing has been officially announced as of yet. This event alone raised more than $1,930 for The Warm Hearts Foundation.

"This account is a way for our most precious resource, Team McEntire Airmen, to have a resource available to them to get out of a financial bind," said Bischoff.