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    31st Fighter Wing hosts Warrior Day

    31st Fighter Wing hosts Warrior Day

    Photo By Staff Sgt. K. Tucker Owen | U.S. Air Force Col. Laurel “Buff” Burkel, retired, speaks to Airmen of the 31st...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. K. Tucker Owen 

    31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    The 31st Fighter Wing held a Warrior Day event at Aviano Air Base, Italy, August 9.

    Warrior Days are marked by two separate events: a physical challenge in the morning, and in the afternoon a guest speaker is invited to share their story or experience with 31 FW Airmen.

    The physical portion of the Warrior Day was hosted by the 31st Maintenance Group, intended to give Airmen from career fields outside of maintenance a fun and engaging look into the everyday lives of their peers in the MXG.

    “We wanted something that was going to involve a lot of sweat,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jonathan Steele, 31st MXG accessories flight chief. “We really just wanted it to be themed along the lines of things that our maintainers actually do day-to-day; small things, but something that was physically challenging.”

    The challenge consisted of five separate events, ranging from transporting 20 F-16 Fighting Falcon main landing gear tires across the length of the hangar to an aircraft identification quiz. Each participating team was graded either on time or points, depending on the style of the event.

    “I would definitely push other Airmen to participate in future Warrior Days,” said Senior Airman Maryelle Putman, 31st Maintenance Squadron commander’s support staff journeyman. “I’d encourage them to get that camaraderie, get to know other people and see where they work.”

    After the challenge concluded successfully and the number one team was announced, Airmen of the 31st Fighter Wing were encouraged to attend an all call with guest speaker Col. Laurel “Buff” Burkel, retired Air Force C-130H Hercules navigator.

    Burkel spoke on her own experience of having survived a broken neck after a helicopter crash while she was working as an advisor to the Afghan air force in 2015.

    “On that day, if you were on the right side of the helicopter you were going to die,” Burkel said. “None of us knew that when we got in and sat down.”

    Burkel’s story highlighted the importance and power of support and its fundamental connection to personal resiliency.

    “All I ask of you is to do something good with this story,” Burkel said. “Do something good with this horrible tragedy that happened on the 11th of October, 2015.”



    Date Taken: 08.15.2019
    Date Posted: 08.16.2019 04:34
    Story ID: 336147
    Location: AVIANO AIR BASE, IT 

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