Port Dawg Memorial Run held during May UTA

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Emily Bloodworth
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force Reservists of the 41st Aerial Port Squadron here participated in the 11th Annual Port Dawg Memorial Run on the flight line May 4.

This is a career wide event that takes place annually for all Aerial Port Squadrons around the world, with this being the fourth year for the 41st APS Port Dawgs to participate in the tradition.

This annual tradition dates back to 2011 when the Port Dawg community tragically lost one of their own, Tech Sgt. Curtis E. Eccleston. The memorial run started in 2013 at Kadena Air Base, Japan, where the Port Dawgs there decided to start a run to honor Eccleston.

“This is put on to celebrate, not to be sad, but it’s used to bring morale together for the unit,” said Tech. Sgt. Thuy Dang, assistant non-commissioned officer in charge of the 41st APS. “It’s a small family and APS is just a small community, everyone knows everyone, so we do this to encourage each other and bring honor to those that have fallen.”

This tradition that started off to honor a single Port Dawg has since grown over the years to remember any life lost within the Port Dawg community.

The event began with a ceremony where members attached six devices to a chain, as Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Entrekin, 41st APS senior enlisted leader, read the names of the six fallen Port Dawgs from 2023.

Entrekin then spoke on the history of the Port Dawg Memorial Run and the importance of honoring fellow members that had lost their lives.

Following the ceremony, members from the 41st APS and members from across the 403rd Wing, took to the flight line for the one mile run in remembrance of the fallen Port Dawgs of 2023.

“This really shows good morale and how we group together as a community within the same career-field and celebrate each other,” said Staff Sgt. Jamie Perdue, Rising Six president for the 41st APS. “We understand that if something does happen to someone, even if they are not in our unit, and they pass away, that people everywhere in this community will celebrate and honor their lives.”