News: Airman receives squadron-wide donation from Ohio
Story by Staff Sgt. Travis Edwards
MANAS, Kyrgyzstan - One airman from the 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron here got a surprise from an unlikely source Dec. 24, 2013.
Senior Airman Michael Osborne, 376th Air Terminal Operations Center aircraft load planner, unbeknownst to him, received about 38 care packages from the small community of Xenia, Ohio, about 15 miles southeast of Dayton.
Senior Master Sgt. Robyn Wilson, 376th ATOC duty officer, was working quietly with Kristine Bonecutter, the project organizer from Xenia’s Cox elementary school, to get the goods here in time.
“We started talking in October and (Bonecutter) started the collection shortly after in November,” said Wilson. “This whole thing evolved from one class, to the whole school, to then the whole community of people who wanted to help.”
Bonecutter enlisted the help of her daughter and Osborne’s girlfriend, Leslie Bonecutter, to get help from the Cox student body, student council, and staff from the school as well as locals from Xenia to help fill holiday boxes and stockings full of candy, lip balm and hot cocoa.
Wilson said it wasn’t hard to keep it a secret up – until all the boxes started showing up.
“I had to starting making excuses to why we were getting so many boxes from his girlfriend,” said Wilson. “Michael is so honest and nice; it was hard to deceive him.”
The deceit came to an end during a crew rotation on Christmas Eve, when the more of his peers would be available. About 15 Airmen from the shop were there to share in the surprise.
“This is so amazing,” said Osborne, who is a reservist deployed form Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio and a native of the Dayton, Ohio area. “I don’t know what to say.”
Osborne spent the rest of the night carting the boxes to the Airmen they were supposed to go to, including stockings that were specifically named for each member of their organization.
“They (the school) came up with the idea; I was just excited to help” said Wilson. “It was really something exciting to be a part of.”