VIP Treatment at the Columbus Air Force Base Air Show
In April, houseparents and children from Palmer Home experienced a special day of tradition, fun and inspiration at the Columbus Air Force Base Air Show. Lt. Col James Winning, Commander of the 14th Operations Support Squadron, Senior Airman Jillia Frishkorn, and a team from the base organized a limousine ride along with other VIP level experiences. Houseparents and children were surprised when they were picked up on campus in luxurious limousines and were noted as imagining themselves as celebrities and rock stars.
“It was neat, and the kids really enjoyed it,” said relief houseparent, Kevin Powell. “They were in awe! The base had arranged for chilled water and soft drinks for us. The children were on cloud nine.”
Columbus Air Force Base pulled out all of the stops for Palmer Home. The excitement was felt throughout the afternoon as Palmer Home attendees enjoyed a delicious barbecue, lawn games, and of course, the aeronautical acrobatics of the US Air Force. Members of the 14th OSS mingled with Palmer Home families, sharing stories, playing corn hole and sending frisbees high into the sunny sky. Collective laughter went up at the sight of the base representatives dressed in uniform, participating in a three-legged race with young children from Palmer Home; though the participants lacked finesse and speed, they gained a greater victory in friendship and connection.
Children were captivated again as they viewed the airplanes of days gone by. This rich history lesson in the form of a family fun day opened the students’ eyes to the past as well as to the future. Children had the opportunity to speak with Columbus Air Force Base airmen about life in the military. Some simply learned more about the meaning of service and others even discussed their potential of joining after graduation.
One of the crowning glories of this exciting day took place as children from Palmer Home and houseparents climbed the impressive staircase to the top of the air traffic control tower. High above the picnic tables, the children gained a new perspective, their horizons widening beyond the scope of life at ground level. As they waved to their friends below, children and houseparents alike marveled at the memorable experience provided by Columbus Air Force Base.
Leaving the air show in limousines, sun-kissed and tuckered, the children from Palmer Home were refreshed and encouraged by their interactions with members of the 14th OSS. This special day spoke to the children about the core values of service men and women across the nation – lifelong servants living out their calling to care for others and to honor their country. The Palmer Home families returned back to campus with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts after the amazing reminder that their horizons are wide, and the sky is the limit.