MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. - As gray Kansas skies poured out
rain, 50 "Littles" paired up with airmen, "Bigs," in Hangar 1107 for
a day activities.
The Sedgwick County chapter of Big
Brothers Big Sisters visited McConnell AFB for an annual "Big for a
Day" event and didn't let the weather get in the way of fun Aug. 9,
Senior airmen Chad Ditch and Brian
Claypool, 22nd Security Forces Squadron military working dog
handlers, talk with “Littles” during the annual Big for a Day event
on August 9, 2013 at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. Team McConnell
hosted approximately 50 children from the Sedgwick County chapter of
the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. (U.S. Air Force photo by
2nd Lt. Jessica Brown)
"Typically this event is hosted by the 349th Air
Refueling Squadron," said Capt. Taylor Zahm, 349th ARS
scheduling chief. "This year, 22 different base agencies are
represented. Nearly every aspect of base is being
represented in some way."
The BBBS program provides
children facing adversity with strong and enduring,
professionally supported one-to-one relationships that
change their lives for the better. McConnell AFB is one of
the national top three ranking bases that support BBBS.
While at McConnell, the "Littles" were matched with
The children learned about the 22nd
Air Refueling Wing's mission while participating in various
activities, including a KC-135 Stratotanker static display
tour, watching a military working dog demonstration and
donning fire protective gear from the base's fire
"We've been doing this for six years
now," said Alicia Rivas BBBS area program director. "It's a
great experience for our kids and great opportunity for the
The "Littles" also had the opportunity to
get their hands on specialized military equipment,
participated in a scavenger hunt, had lunch and bowled with
One of the event's goals was to find
possible matches for the children among the eager airmen.
"This is a great way for some of our waiting 'Littles'
to spend some time with an excellent role model and have
some fun," said Jennifer Koftan BBBS community impact
coordinator. "Spending quality time, talking and sharing
experiences makes a huge impact on our 'Littles.'"
Not only do days like this impact the "Littles," they also
make an impression on the "Bigs."
"The favorite part
of the day for me was seeing my 'Little' smile," said Airman
1st Class Jacob Murphy, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
crew chief. "Days like this gives [airmen] a chance to feel
that, even though we're 'just airmen,' we can make a
difference in someone's life."
The day ended with
hugs, high-fives and a loud collective "thank you" from all
"They're going to remember this
forever," said Koftan. "They're going to remember the fun
stuff as well as spending time with their 'Big' and feeling
By USAF Senior Airman Katrina Brisbin
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