KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
The 41st Aerial Port Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, held their second annual Port Dawg Memorial Run June 4.
“This tradition started in 2011 when the Port Dawg community experienced the tragic loss of one of our brothers, Tech. Sgt. Curtis E. Eccleston,” said Senior Master Sgt. Martin Guthrie during the event’s opening remarks. “In 2013 the Port Dawgs at Kadena Air Base, Japan, put on a memorial run in honor of Eccleston.”
That 2013 event has grown into an annual tradition across the aerial transport community, said Guthrie. Every year the Port Dawg community takes time to remember those lost in the career-field the previous year.
The event began with a ceremony where members attached seven devices to a chain, as Guthrie read the names of the seven deceased Port Dawgs they represented.
They are as follows:
Staff Sgt. Robert “Bobby” Buehler
Airman 1st Class Harding Chase
Master Sgt. Christopher Deck
Master Sgt. Shawn Kane
Airman 1st Class Jacob Kidd
Master Sgt. Gregory Steffers
Senior Airman Theron Wallace
Col. Reginald Trujillo, 403rd Mission Support Group commander, took the time to speak as he paid respects to one of his former Port Dawgs, Master Sgt. Shawn Kane of the 32nd Aerial Port Squadron at Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station. He shared an anecdote about his battle with cancer and spoke of his overall character.
“Sergeant Kane was a role model of resilience,” said Trujillo. “Despite everything he was going through he always remained positive and maintained a spirited sense of humor. He was a hard-charging (senior noncommissioned officer) who excelled in his duties, and when he was told he had to re-deploy early, due to the doctor’s medical diagnosis, his only concern was the mission and his team.”
Following the ceremony, members from 41st APS, as well as from across the 403rd Wing, took to the flightline for the run portion of the ceremony.
“No matter what squadron you’re with, the Port Dawg community is close-knit, and this event is a great opportunity to come together and honor our fallen brothers and sisters and also to just be there for each other,” said Lt. Col. Stephanie Lee, 41st APS commander.