NEWS | Dec. 6, 2012

JB Charleston - Air Base celebrates holiday season with tree lighting ceremony

By Senior Airman Dennis Sloan Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The Joint Base Charleston - Air Base holiday tree was lit during a ceremony Dec. 5, 2012, with Airmen, Sailors and family members gathered for the event.

The ceremony kicked off at 5 p.m. with an invocation from Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Michael Brown, 628th Air Base Wing chaplain, followed by remarks from Col. Darren Hartford, 437th Airlift Wing commander.

"This is a great tradition," said Hartford. "It is wonderful that we can all gather here as a military family and celebrate the holidays and remember those who are deployed."

After Hartford's remarks, he announced the 2012 Air Base Holiday Card contest winners.
First place went to the 315th Airlift Wing and they received $300 in Force Support Squadron bucks, which they can use at any 628th FSS facility on base.

Second Place went to the 1st Combat Camera Squadron along with $200 in FSS bucks.

Third place went to the JB Charleston Spouses Club and they received $100 FSS bucks.

"Judging for this year's card competition was very hard," said Beverly McElroy, 628th FSS special events coordinator. "Everyone put together some great cards for the JB Charleston community to see."

Once the card contest winners were announced it was time for the main event, the lighting of the tree.

Hartford called on 4-year-old Madison, daughter of Lt. Col. Craig Burton, 628th Air Base Wing judge advocate, to come up and light the tree. When the countdown from the other children at the event reached zero, Madison lit the tree.

Following the tree lighting, Santa Claus arrived on a fire truck where he greeted all the children.