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NEWS | April 17, 2015

16 AS holds Little Lion's ceremony

By 1Lt. Michael Sattes 437th Airlift Wing

The 16th Airlift Squadron recognized its youngest squadron members April 10, 2015 during the squadron's "First Friday" event in the units auditorium at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

The 16th AS was deployed during the holiday season, which can be a difficult time for families to be separated. It takes an enormous amount of strength from those left at home to make it through this kind of challenge.

During the squadron's monthly "First Friday," event, the squadron did something special.  They held a ceremony to highlight the children's achievements, joyful moments, and helpful habits while their loved ones were away.

"We presented them with a certificate along with a medal that has the squadron patch on one side and a C-17 on the other," said Lt. Col. Patrick Farrell, 16th AS commander.

In all, 35 Little Lions were recognized, and no achievement was too small; everything from helping around the house to making the high school honor list was celebrated. 

"A lot of times, those of us on active duty are the ones who get all the attention," said Capt. Brian George, father of nine month old baby Ethan. "But for these kids to also be recognized for their accomplishments and sacrifices is really something special." 

While his father was away, Ethan's greatest achievement was learning to crawl.

"While our Airman make a selfless choice to sacrifice for their nation, children usually don't have much of a say, but in some ways they sacrifice even more," said Farrell. "We felt it was important to recognize and honor their sacrifice and thank them for the things they did to help at home during the deployment.  I was able to see the pride in their faces that their service was being recognized in front of a large audience."

This unique event served as a reminder that each and every member of this community is important, no matter how big or small.