Originally featured on 301st Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office. Read a full version of their article here.
Published Dec. 10, 2021
By Captain Jessica Gross
301st Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
FORT WORTH, Texas --
Members of the 301st Fighter Wing, along with wing senior leadership, participated in the sixth annual Holidays & Heroes community event at the Vintage Flying Museum in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 5, 2021.
Founded by 301 FW Maintenance Group Honorary Commander, Mrs. Kerre Randel-Ortegel, Holidays & Heroes is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission of providing holiday assistance to military families throughout the Fort Worth area. The organization not only helps military members during the holidays but also allows local businesses and community members an opportunity to support these service members as sponsors for these deserving families.
“We provided Christmas for 143 military families and we could not be more honored to do so,” said Randel-Ortegel. “This has been our biggest and best year yet!”
The event included sponsored military families from all service branches aboard Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth receiving wrapped gifts when they arrived at the Vintage Flying Museum. Shortly after, families witnessed Santa Claus parachuting into the event and interacted with the families. Attendees were also treated to games and photography opportunities with special characters igniting the holiday spirit.
“Watching the faces of these military families as they entered the museum was priceless for me,” said Col. Korey Amundson, 301st Fighter Wing vice commander. “I am so grateful we live in a community that is always thinking of others.”
The biggest surprise of the entire event happened when two vehicles were donated to one Airman and one Sailor from Caliber Collison. The event concluded with a closing ceremony where the event’s volunteers [some who serve as current 301 FW honorary commanders] were recognized and included a tribute to those service members lost in the past year.
Randel-Ortegel had some final words as she reflected on the events of that day.
“Thank you to all service members for our freedom,” Randel Ortegel said. “Without you and your families sacrifice, we wouldn’t have what we have today and I am honored to give back in some way to those families who have sacrificed so much.”
*No Federal Endorsement Implied*