'Port Dawgs' honor their fallen during virtual run

  • Published
  • 482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

In 2011, the Air Transportation Community experienced a tragic loss when one of their brothers, Tech. Sgt. Curtis E. Eccleston died. In 2013, the “Port Dawgs” at Kadena Air Base, Japan, held a memorial run in honor of Curtis, in what would later become an annual event held around the world, and across the entire career field.

The run builds on the strong comradery our career field already maintains, and reinforces to every Airman, when you join this career field, you join a family.

This year, we celebrate the lives of nine of our fallen teammates:

  • Senior Airman Shawn A. Mckeough Jr., 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.
  • Staff Sgt. Michael G. Gibbons, 437th Aerial Port Squadron, Joint-Base Charleston, S.C.
  • Senior Master Sgt. John B. Briggs, 164th LRS, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Senior Airman Dane T. Johnson, 728th Air Mobility Squadron, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
  • Airman 1st Class Carl M. Otto, 62nd APS, Joint-Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
  • Senior Airman Kayli S. Jefferson-Henkel, 921st Contingency Response Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
  • Staff Sgt. Allyssandra C. M. Powers, 74th APS, Joint-Base San Antonio, Texas
  • Senior Airman Sydni R. Barnes, 19th LRS, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
  • Staff Sgt. Eric J. Poole, 94th APS, Robins AFB, Ga.

"Since its inception in 2013, the 70th Aerial Port Squadron has been organizing and promoting this event, in the spirit of keeping the memory alive of those we lost," said Chief Master Sgt. Tony Rodriguez, 70th APS superintendent. "Obviously, the current circumstances prevent us from organizing any kind of mass group event, but it doesn’t prevent us from supporting a great foundation, and actively participating, even if it’s independently."

Due to social distancing restrictions because of COVID-19, this year the run will be virtual. The run is traditionally held during National Defense Transportation Week, May 11-15. However, this year, individuals wanting to participate should conduct the 5K run on their own, May 1 – 15. Organizers ask to please try and document your run with a photo and send to the POC.

There is no cost to participate, however, 2020 Port Dawg Memorial 5K apparel is available for purchase.

For those interested in purchasing a Memorial Run T-shirt, there’s an opportunity at these hyperlinks for Short Sleeve Shirts, Long Sleeve Shirts, and Hoodies. All proceeds raised will be donated to the Fisher House Foundation in the form of a memorial fund in their names.

Last year, $7K was donated to the Fisher House; we hope to exceed that amount this year.

Anyone can participate – dependents, non-air transportation personnel, and civilians.

For more information or questions, please contact Chief Master Sgt. Tony Rodriguez, 70th APS, at: tony.rodriguez@us.af.mil