TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – In honor of National Defense Transportation Week, Port Dawgs from the 60th Aerial Port Squadron and 821st Contingency Response Group assembled for a two-mile run May 21, 2021, here, in remembrance of fallen teammates in the career field.
“We are running for all of the Port Dawgs that cannot be here today; 59 Port Dawgs have emblazoned your shirts since this memorial tradition began in 2013,” said Lt. Col. Chad Wharton, 60th APS commander, to a crowd at the event. “This year, 12 Port Dawgs were added to the list of the fallen. Look at the shirt in front of you — you wear their names; you honor them and do their work because they can't be here themselves.”
Master Sgt. Christopher Messer
Tech. Sgt. Christopher Ewing
Tech. Sgt. Karl Reichenbach
Tech. Sgt. Paul Weaver
Staff Sgt. Tyler Connnoly
Staff Sgt. Ronald Ouellette
Staff Sgt. Deion Swann
Staff Sgt. James Wojcik
Senior Airman Adrian Fundora
Senior Airman Robert Polin Jr.
Airman 1st Class Kongmon Vang
Mr. Philip "Jojo" Rillon
The Port Dawgs ran along perimeter road, north of the runway on Travis AFB, for a mile then returned to the starting line.
“You are a tightly-bonded team of brothers and sisters in arms,” said Wharton. “You are stationed and deployed to the furthest reaches of the globe. You are often the first into the thick of the fight and the last to leave,” he continued. “Some places, all you have is each other to get through trying times; it’s a bond tighter than most. Unique to only a chosen few, and it takes all of you to make it work.”
On May 14, President of the U.S. Joseph Biden made a proclamation declaring National Defense Transportation Week May 16 - 22 with May 21 being National Defense Transportation Day.
“This month, we recognize the dedicated men and women who kept this nation moving during the depths of a global pandemic: the truckers who delivered groceries to empty store shelves; the airline crews who flew medical workers to COVID-19 hotspots; the United States military members who remained on the front lines to distribute and administer vaccines in record time; and the transportation workers who kept our systems running as economies shut down,” said Biden. “We thank you for serving the American people and the traveling public.”
Read the full proclamation here.