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    Little Heroes, Honoring Them

    Little Heroes, Honoring Them

    Photo By Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey | Kelly Coakley, 5 years old, takes a photo with her dad, Tech. Sgt. Shane Coakley,...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey  

    104th Fighter Wing

    The Department of Defense takes time during April to recognize the unique sacrifices of military children. The Month of the Military Child started in 1986 as an official Defense Department commemoration.
    The goal is to recognize and pay tribute to military children for their unique service, sacrifices and unconditional support.

    The little heroes of our nation are often asked to sacrifice time with their loved ones. Whether it’s days away from a parent, or trying to keep contact with them while deployed, an Airman’s child faces many challenges that children in the civilian sector often don’t face.

    The 104th Fighter Wing celebrates our young heroes, not only during April, but all year long. As the wing celebrates, here is a closer look at our remarkable children.

    Kelly and Brian Coakley are children of an Air National Guard member at the 104th FW. Their father, Tech. Sgt. Shane Coakley, has served at the wing as Security Forces for 11 years. He’s been an active-duty-guard-and-reserve member at the base since he returned from technical school in 2010.

    Memories with our military children often stand out as part of our military careers.

    “I remember returning home from Afghanistan in 2015 on Kelly’s first birthday. She was there waiting for me, holding a flag,” said Coakley. “They have to deal with us being away, or deployed. They are dependents — little kids that are affected and indirectly sacrifice with us.”

    Military children and youth play an important role in the Department of Defense mission, and their service and sacrifices are honored.

    “Some of my favorite memories are from taking Kelly to the ice cream socials at the Veteran’s home, talking to the older veterans, honoring them, and passing out certificates,” said Coakley. “We do this every year.”

    Many Air Force children think back on their parent’s careers with fond memories.

    “I remember the Christmas party at the base with my dad,” said Kelly. “My favorite part is the presents.”

    Kelly said that she also likes to visit her dad at work, and see the police lights.

    Her birthday is this week, and the 5-year-old is quick to say, “I’m almost going to be 6 years old.” They have already made a cake and had fun eating it too.



    Date Taken: 04.29.2020
    Date Posted: 04.29.2020 20:35
    Story ID: 368823
    Location: WESTFIELD, MA, US

    Web Views: 376
    Downloads: 0