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NEWS | Aug. 29, 2007

Crossing guard still crosses the lines after 6 years

By Airman 1st Class Nicholas Pilch 437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Have you ever wondered why hunting ducks is such a trend at Hill Blvd and East Jackson in the mornings and afternoons? Well, just to clarify, duck hunting isn't allowed on base, but we do allow a woman to wear a bright orange vest while helping children cross Hill Blvd.

With a car-stopping outfit on, Faythe Deweese holds up a handheld stop sign to stop traffic for three young children on the corner of Hill Boulevard and East Jackson Street.

"Ok, it's safe to cross now," she says as the youngsters eagerly cross the road with a line of traffic stopped both ways.

Mrs. Deweese starts her day on base at 6:40 a.m. and escorts children across the busy Hill Blvd on school days. She has been a school crossing guard for six years and she says she loves working on Charleston AFB and supporting those families who have children walking to school every morning and walking home every afternoon.

"I love working on base," said Mrs. Deweese. "I love working with children and families throughout the school year and I love working for the county."

Many would think coffee is her number one drink because she starts her day so early, but some days in Charleston the heat index is above 100 and she says that coffee is too hot.

"Coffee isn't enjoyable standing in the heat, but I do enjoy the company of the construction crews. They bring me water and I like that," she says with a smile as she takes a drink from her bottle of water, given to her earlier from the construction crew across the street.

Mrs. Deweese works for the Charleston County Sherriff's department and works under Sheriff Al Cannon.

Since it is the beginning of the school year, she really looks forward to more children using the cross walk throughout the year.

"Well, right now I cross five children in the mornings and afternoons," she said. "I'd really like more children to walk and ride their bikes to school so I can help more kids on a daily basis."

She previously worked over in the Hunley Park housing area as their school crossing guard but they transferred her when they needed a crossing guard on base.

"It wasn't always like this," she explained. "I used to have to report speeders and people who wouldn't stop so the security forces here on base would track those people down fast. Since then, speeding around me hasn't been a problem, and I don't even have to wear a whistle anymore."

So if you see Mrs. Deweese wave at you in the mornings and afternoons, be sure to wave back. She says she loves seeing the smiles on the faces of passing drivers.