NCO Academy Students Lend a Hand to Okinawan Elderly
By Tech. Sgt. Phillip Butterfield
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -A group of U.S. Air Force Airmen armed with rakes and lawnmowers descended on Ichijoen Elders Home to render some well-deserved lawn care June 16.
Twenty-seven NCOs from Class 12-05 at Kadena’s NCO Academy spent the better part of the day assisting people in need of lawn care, weeding and trimming. Besides yard work, the class also lifted the spirits of those living at the elders home.
“I appreciate all the help the Airmen brought us,” said Yoko Sakiyama, Ichijoen Elders Home director. “The home doesn’t receive many volunteers and after the elders see what you [Airmen] have done they will be so happy.”
After removing approximately 40 20-gallon bags of grass trimmings and bush clippings and more than 500 pounds of garbage, the class was invited to enjoy some local Okinawan cuisine.
“Sharing some tempura sweet potatoes and fish was our way of saying thank you,” said Sakiyama. “The Airmen are always welcome to come back and help.”
NCOA Class 12-05 has several other community assistance projects planned for the near future and the Erwin Professional Military Education Center has made community outreach a part of its curriculum.
“I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to take part in making the lives of a few Okinawan residents better,” said Tech. Sgt. Ashley Dukes, an NCOA student from the 390th Intelligence Squadron. “I hope that more Airmen get to experience the same feeling of joy that I got to experience today.”
This article was originally published at: http://www.pacaf.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123306785