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NEWS | April 8, 2015

Tennis player visits Charleston service members

By Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Professional tennis player Christina McHale  toured a C-17 Globemaster III and signed autographs for service members, civilians and their families April 7, 2015 at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

McHale is ranked 63rd in the Women's Tennis Association singles bracket and has participated in the Charleston Family Circle Cup tournament for the past 5 years, but this was her first time visiting a military installation.

"I didn't expect the base to be a small community," said the 22-year-old athlete. "And I didn't expect the inside of a C-17 to be that big."

Senior Airman Trae Williams, a loadmaster from the 16th Airlift Squadron, was selected to show McHale the mission capabilities of the C-17 and what his daily flight duties entail.

"I volunteered to do a tour of a C-17, but I had no idea who the tour was for," Williams said. "I was shocked when I found out it was Christina and was honored to show her around the C-17.

Christina is a humble young woman who is an inspiration because she is doing what she loves; playing a sport that is cherished by many people around the world."

McHale thanked service members, civilians and family members for their sacrifices and was impressed by the strong ties the military and the local community have.  

"Thank you for what you do and I am honored to be here," McHale said to a group of service members. "Charleston is one of my favorite tournament locations."

Following a first round loss to Danka Kovinic, McHale is heading off to Bogota, Columbia for the Claro Open Colsanitas April 13 to 19.