Moody honors law enforcement during National Police Week
By Airman 1st Class Lauren M. Hunter, 23d Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 20, 2016
MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- A somber mood filled the dimly-lit room as heavy-hearted Airmen bowed their heads in remembrance of their brothers and sisters in arms. Eyes filled with tears as the narrator recited the names of more than 50 law enforcement officers; names that are now engraved in a bracelet on their wrists.
The 23d Security Forces Squadron hosted events like this memorial as part of National Police Week, to honor and pay respect to those working in law enforcement, May 16-20, here.
“Above anything, this week is a time where we remember and pay respect to the officers that have sacrificed all they could,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Leonard Pritchett, 23d SFS NCO in charge of logistics and readiness.
They honored fallen law enforcement officers through a retreat ceremony, which was one of five events held throughout the week. During this event, the names of all fallen Security Forces members since Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as all fallen law enforcement officers in the local area within the last year were read to symbolize their last roll call.
“At the start of each officer’s shift, the names of those on duty are recited and they acknowledge and accept their watch,” said Master Sgt. Dale Davig, 23d SFS Information Fusion Cell NCO in charge, in his speech during the ceremony. “Those who have fallen are no longer present for roll call and so we shall call their names one more time in remembrance.”
The recital of names hit home for some Airmen as they remembered the faces of their fallen comrades.
“It hits a nerve with me and gives me the chills when they read the names off and I hear my buddies on the list,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Barnhart, 23d SFS Combat Arms Training and Maintenance instructor. “I’ve lost two friends who were members of Security Forces and one who was a Highway Patrol officer so if they get the recognition they deserve, I think this whole week was a success.”
Though remembrance of the fallen was a main topic during this week’s events, it was also a time to show appreciation for what our police officers do every day.
“Everyone sees us, knows who we are, and has a general idea of what we do, but they have no idea how much time it takes,” said Pritchett. “Our job never stops, it’s required seven days a week, 24 hours a day, plus on weekends and holidays. So it’s nice to have one week out of the year to have fun and for everyone to appreciate what we do.”
The 23d SFS held the remaining events during the week to better show what goes into their job. The events included a “Battle of the Badges,” which is a physical competition between groups such as Security Forces, firefighters, and the 23d Equipment Maintenance Squadron, a quadrathlon, and a show-and-tell for Airmen and families which showcased cop cars, finger printing and canines.
Each of these events together made up Moody’s celebration of National Police Week. The 23d SFS was successful in its goal to show appreciation for law enforcement officers, and to honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.