192nd FW hosts Family Day festivities

More than 900 Virginia Air National Guardsmen and their families attended the 192nd Fighter Wing Family Day celebration Sept. 9, 2012 in Hampton, Va. Activities included a Hometown Hero ceremony, the first annual Family Fun 5k Run-Walk, live music, face painting, a clown and a water dunk tank. (National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Carlos J. Claudio)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. – More than 900 Virginia Air Guardsmen and their families from the 192nd Fighter Wing participated in various activities at the unit’s Family Day, Sept. 9.

A Hometown Hero Salute ceremony recognized military and family members of the 192nd FW. Airmen and their supporters were presented with items that reflect the number of days they deployed from June 1, 2011 to June 1, 2012. Recognized members walked across the stage with their supporters, were greeted by the official party and received awards or certificates for their service.

A Hometown Hero Salute ceremony recognized military and family members of the 192nd FW. Airmen and their supporters were presented with items that reflect the number of days they deployed from June 1, 2011 to June 1, 2012. Recognized members walked across the stage with their supporters, were greeted by the official party and received awards or certificates for their service.

Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, Deputy Adjutant General of Virginia, said to the audience at Bethel Park that when he deployed, it was easy for him to pack bags and be ready to go in two hours. But what most people did not immediately realize was how hard it was on the family.

“I don’t care if you have a small kid or older kids,” Wright said. “It’s always tough on them because as soon as you leave, the car and refrigerator breaks and there’s trouble at home. So it’s tough on our families.”

Col. Thomas K. Wark, 192nd Fighter Wing Commander, read from a long list of names thanking personnel that dedicated time and effort planning this community building event. “This event does not happen by accident,” Wark said. “There are a lot of people involved and a lot of people working on the grill teams to put all this stuff together, setting-up and tearing-down.”

More than 70 Guardsmen and their families participated in the first 192nd FW Family Fun 5K Run-Walk. Service members were able to spend time with their co-workers and family while enjoying food, music and games.

“I like this event because we’re spread all over the base, so it gives us one chance for all the guard people to be in one place together and out of uniform,” said Senior Master Sgt. Walter B. Gooch, Tactical Aircraft Superintendent with the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit.

“This event was a great opportunity to visit with people and to connect with them in a way that is a little bit different than when it’s work oriented,” said Maj. Matthew Incorvaia, the unit’s chaplain. “I would attend these events again as long as we have them because it’s been a wonderful experience fostering a sense of team and family.”