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Unique sendoff for members of PA Air Guard unit

Unique sendoff for members of PA Air Guard unit

Members of the 201st RED HORSE of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard received a special sendoff as part of a unique tradition this weekend as they prepared for deployment overseas.

From ABC27-WHTM:

A final wave of Pennsylvania Air National Guard engineers said good-bye to their families Saturday at an emotional ceremony before heading out to the Middle East and Asia.

A cloudy day at Fort Indiantown Gap matched the gloomy mood that settles over a deployment. A dad played catch with his sons. Families posed for pictures and hold each other close. The last few precious moments were spent together before they are separated for eight months.

“Kind of a sad time yet make it as upbeat as we possibly can,” said Senior Master Sergeant Nancy Stoltzfus of Manheim. This is her third deployment.

“I’ve known for about a year. We have rotation so I’ve known for quite a while. Have plenty of time to prepare,” she said.

But nothing could prepare her for the moment she left her three children.

“Leaving three kids now and their ages, they’re involved in all kinds of activities — it’s a little bit harder,” Stoltzfus said. “I gave them owls with a Bible verse on that says something about God watching over them.”

Families returned the prayers and well wishes by writing special messages to the airmen on yellow bows. Those bows were hung around the 201st RED HORSE Squadron statue.

RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, and the tradition of placing special personal messages on yellow ribbons around the statue is unique to this squadron.  Those ribbons will remain there until the troops return home.

Read more at ABC27-WHTM.

abc27 WHTM


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I’m sorry, but it’s just not right that a mother of three children is abandoning them for a year or more so she can play soldier.

    Bones in reply to snopercod. | March 30, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Have you ever served?

    If not, you might want to pipe down with your accusations of abandonment and “playing soldier”

    Show some go*****ed respect.

      snopercod in reply to Bones. | March 30, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      Yes, in the real Army. You?

        Bones in reply to snopercod. | March 30, 2014 at 8:40 pm

        The “real” Army? Is that a back-handed slap at guardsmen/reservists in general… or is it just the Air Guard you can’t stand?

        I was AF, and did several tours in the desert, right alongside Red Horse squadrons. The Red Horse folks are squared-away and valuable assets, particularly in far-forward bare-base environments.

          snopercod in reply to Bones. | March 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm

          I don’t have a problem with the zoomies or Air Guard. What I do have a problem with is women who bear children and then dump them off on others to raise. But hey, she gave the youngsters paper owls with bible verses on them; I’m sure that will make up for her third absence. /sarc

          Where was the husband, anyway? I didn’t see him in the video anywhere. Clearly the man who has been raising the kids has no opinion on the matter – not one that they would show on camera, anyway. Stoltzfus…isn’t that a Mennonite name? I thought Mennonites were pacifists. This deal is so wrong on many levels.

        David R. Graham in reply to snopercod. | March 30, 2014 at 11:08 pm

        You are lying.

She is a Senior Master Sergeant with three children who is deploying for the third time. I assure you, Snopercod, this is a serious woman; she is not playing. Regardless of ones’ opinion about our involvement in the Middle East, or anywhere else on the globe, our shame is that there are so few who do this, so willingly, so often; the wonder is that these few do it, so willingly, so often. We, and the world, owe them much.

In all liklihood she will return home through Wheeler-Sack AAF after sixteen hours on an airplane. When she does I or one of my fellow USO volunteers will probably hand her a bottle of water or a cup of coffee, a sandwich, some toiletries perhaps. And you know what’s amazing, something that I still cannot get used to? Every one of these remarkable people – every one of them – will thank me. Can you imagine? I’ve done and heard this thousands of times and I still don’t know how to respond. These amazing, wonderful people are the very bedrock of our country.

Godspeed Senior Master Sergeant Stolzfus. See you in ten months.

This woman is not some stolen-valor pogue, sitting in a bar, bragging about how she was a Navy SEAL who personally face-shot Bin Laden. She’s on her third tour, and deserves the respect of her service. The Red Horse are good people.

I do not tolerate blue falcons, or those who sneer at their fellow veterans. The justifications are inevitably some juvenile crap, expressed as “they have it easy” or “they’re not really in the war” or “they’re just doing it for the college money.”

I find such chest-beating to be stupid, and dishonorable.

Talk down to the guy who cooks your meals? Fine. Go back to MREs for six months straight, then maybe you’ll appreciate some hot food. Talk trash about the supply guy? Yeah… wait until you nearly get overrun because you didn’t have enough ordnance. Talk trash about the personnel clerk? Yeah… trying straightening out your pay yourself when the military inevitably screws it up (as they did on EVERY ONE of my deployments).

One team, one fight.