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Maryland Air National Guard gives back to community during the holidays

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Christopher Schepers
  • 175th Wing

For the holiday season, Airmen of the Maryland Air National Guard adopted a local military family to support and delivered gifts for other families in the community around Warfield Air National Guard Base. 

The Top 3 Council of the 175th Wing hosted the Chavez family, who currently live in Rockville, Maryland, on base at Martin State Airport, December 20, 2022. During the visit, the family received gifts from Santa, had a catered lunch, visited the base fire department, and learned about the A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to the 104th Fighter Squadron. 

“When we started discussing within the Top 3 what we were going to do for the holiday, many members felt like I did and wanted to do something for someone in the community,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Monica Aragon, the senior enlisted leader for the 175th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “For that reason, I suggested Operation Ward 57 because they support wounded, injured, and ill service members and Gold Star Families.”

Operation Ward 57, a non-profit organization provides assistance and outreach to service members and their families during their recovery through advocacy, education, and promotion of their circumstances.

With the plan in place, the Top 3 council decided to adopt the Chavez family, who is originally from California. Originally, Airmen planned to go to their home to support the family.

“As our plans evolved, a lot of our members wanted to do more than just deliver the gifts to the family,” said Aragon. “So, with the help of members across the base we decided to host the family at the Wing to give them a memorable experience for the holiday.”

On the same day, 175th Wing Airmen also helped the Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce deliver gifts during their annual holiday gift drive, which supports low-income families in the Middle River community.

Throughout the year, The Top 3 Council also volunteered with the Meals on Wheels program and helped distribute over 180 meals to local citizens in need of assistance. 
The 175th Wing and the Top 3 Council was able to raise over $3,500 for the Chavez family, who was grateful to everyone involved. 

“Today was a wonderful experience and we are very thankful and appreciative for everything you have done for us. Not just today but over Thanksgiving as well,” said Sarahi Chavez. “We are overwhelmed by the support you are providing us this holiday season and we are extremely thankful for the people at this base.”