March Air Reserve Base, Calif. --
The 50th Aerial Port Squadron held a unit remembrance run in acknowledgment of the Department of Defense's "National Transportation Week" here on May 5, 2018. Unit runners met during the May A Unit Training Assembly (UTA) on the base track field here, where they donned unit remembrance shirts specifically created for the event.
Air Force aerial port squadron units from all components choose to acknowledge the week through various esprit de corps events geared toward increasing unit cohesion. The 50th APS chose the remembrance run as their event. On May 16, 1957, U.S. Congress requested the President approve the third Friday of May to be designated as "National Defense Transportation Day." After approval through a joint resolution on May 14, 1962, the week on which the "National Defense Transportation Day" falls would be deemed as "National Transportation Week."
Senior Master Sgt. Loretta M. Patino, 50th APS unit deployment manager, explained what the remembrance run meant to her and the 50 unit runners involved in the event.
"This run remembers the people we lost to suicide, illness, and unfortunately violent crime," said Patino. Patino explained that the unit shirt "displays all service members lost in our career field over the past few years." Patino further added that the event was "good for unit cohesion" and "remembrance for those unit members who were personally affected by the loss of someone in the unit."
Senior Airman Michael W. Clothier, 50 APS cargo processor, said the event was a "great idea and [is] reflective on what we do." Clothier stated that he felt a "degree of pride and honor" to be involved in the event.
The 50APS remembrance run marks the first of its kind for the unit, where the unit plans to make the event an annual occurrence to remember those service members lost over the course of the previous calendar year.
Lt. Col. Gretchen M. Yule, 50 APS commander, recently returned from deployment and participated in the event. Yule stated that the unit is "family more than an AFSC" and that she felt a duty to be a part of the event. Yule explained how the event had significant meaning to her due to the loss of one of her Airmen to suicide over the past year. "I'm glad those names were on the shirt today," Yule said.