By Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden, 15th Wing Public Affairs
Airmen in the tactical air control party (TACP) career field often make many sacrifices in their line of work. Sometimes it’s the ultimate sacrifice. Though those members may be gone, Hickam TACP’s ensure they are never forgotten.
The 4th Annual TACP Remembrance Run wrapped up March 27 at the Missing Man Formation on the Hickam side of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The 24-hour run began at noon March 26, and more than 300 members of the Hickam community took part in the event honoring fallen members of the TACP community.
In addition to memorializing its fallen brethren, the unit also uses the annual event to raise money and awareness for the U.S. Air Force TACP Association, which provides support to injured veterans, those who suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder, or family members of the fallen.
Staff Sgt. Jeffery McElhaney, 25th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) joint terminal attack controller and event coordinator, said remembering the fallen Airmen with a 24-hour run is a true testament to the brotherhood that the team shares.
“I’ve lost three friends from the TACP community in the last three years and, in each of those cases, the association helped out a lot, so this is something that hits close to home and I wanted to be involved,” McElhaney said.
The annual run takes place at every TACP unit across the globe with each squadron competing to see who can raise the most money. Though there are first, second and third prizes awarded to the most successful units, McElhaney said the real point of the event isn’t to win.
“We want to raise as much money as we can to help the organization,” he said. “It’s not about winning first place but raising awareness. Most everyone has an association they want to support. Why not help one that takes care of our own.”
Though the event was largely centered on fundraising for the TACP association, Airmen, Soldiers and Sailors from around the island came to pay their respects and support the event.
“Not only does this event build camaraderie in the community, it’s an opportunity to get involved, promote fitness, and have a good time,” McElhaney said.
Airman 1st Class Jason Holmes, 25th ASOS, is the newest Airman to join the unit and said in his brief time on the team he has seen nothing short of amazing teamwork. The run is just one of many ways he has seen the unit come together to get things done.
However, for Holmes, participating in the event had an even more personal significance.
“It’s nice to know if I were to die in the line of duty, I’d have TACP brethren out here running in remembrance of me, so I came out to do the same for them,” he said.