Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: 'Olympia' (4) Currently Viewing: 1 - 4 of 4

February 3, 2011 at 10:24am

Reservist helps spouse battle cancer while serving in Iraq

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash.- When Air Force Reservists prepare for deployments, common items they double-check might be, updating wills and powers of attorney, making sure their finances are in order, medical clearances, making sure they have the proper equipment and supplies, and ensuring the well being of their families before the Reservist departs.

But one Air Force Reserve family was thrown for a loop when a special cargo handler with the 446th Airlift Wing from Wilsonville, Ore., found out his wife of 11 years was diagnosed with breast cancer the week before he deployed to Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, in August 2010.

"It scared me and I cried for hours," said Candice Currier, mother of four. "But I knew how strong I was and the support I had from my family and best friend gave me all the strength I needed to get through. Plus, I knew that being able to communicate with my husband through e-mail and Skype would help me feel like he wasn't as far away."

In order for her husband, Tech. Sgt. Chris Currier, 86th Aerial Port Squadron, to proceed with the deployment, he, his family and his squadron leadership had many conversations.

"We knew that their sister-in-law and family friend would give her the support she needed like watching their children while he was gone," said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Dietz, 86th APS air transportation manager.

Over the course of Candice's seven chemotherapy treatments, Chris felt her pain during the harder moments, but also her relief when she was doing well.

"Hearing her on her down week was the hardest part," said the Intel contractor. "Knowing how defenseless she was was hard. But when I found out she was pulling through, it was a great relief. Knowing that the people I deployed with were there for support was also a relief."

Chief Dietz showed his support by taking a trip to Oregon to check on the family and make sure Candice was doing okay.

"I went down there on Candice's birthday, Oct. 25, to drop off some truffles and check on her," said the Olympia, Wash. resident. "The commander (Lt. Col. Tim May) and the first sergeant (Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Mack) also called her a few times. We were relieved to find out she was going to be okay, not only for her sake, but for her family." 

Throughout the entire process, the couple never doubted her strength in getting through her illness. In fact, it made their relationship grow stronger.

"I knew from the start she was going to pull through," said Sergeant Currier, the veteran who's been through four deployments, to include Operation Desert Storm. "She will not take ‘no' for an answer. Without a doubt, this has made me a better husband, a better (noncommissioned officer), and has made us stronger."

Candice sums up their relationship through the troubled time.

"Most certainly it has made our relationship stronger," she said. "I had to let Chris see the raw side of me by letting my guard down and trusting that his love would still stand. He showed me his true feelings every time we talked and no matter what my insecurities about my looks or feelings were, he didn't waiver his love and desire for me as his wife."

Although a biopsy confirmed the absence of cancer, Candice will begin radiation treatment at the end of February.

January 4, 2011 at 8:53am

Airman finds help for disabled Afghan boy

This from Air Force Times: OLYMPIA, Wash. - The father's request was simple, yet desperate.

Could Sean Roehrs, a captain in the Air Force stationed in Afghanistan, help the man's 8-year-old son who had a mental disability fly from war-torn Afghanistan to the United States for medical treatment?

"I said, 'Let me see what I can do,'" Roehrs said.

So began the unlikely journey that brought Khaled a shy, lovable Afghan boy who speaks only a few words, has seizures and needs constant care to Olympia.

"Where there's a will, there's a way," said Roehrs, who grew up in Olympia.

But before Khaled would attend a kindergarten class at Pioneer Elementary School, before he'd receive medical exams that determined that his disability was genetic and couldn't be corrected by surgery, Roehrs contacted people for months about Khaled coming to the United States. Solace for Children, a relief agency based in North Carolina, was a major player in opening the door for Khaled coming here.

To read the complete story, click here.

February 8, 2010 at 10:39am

Family support event for reservists, guardsmen

(446th AW PA) — The 446th Mission Support Squadron's Airman and Family Readiness Center will host its third Yellow Ribbon post-deployment workshop at the Red Lion Inn, in Olympia Feb. 20-21. 

The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a Congressional-mandated program that provides military people and their families with information, services, referrals and outreach opportunities available to them, to support their life transitions. 

Reservists with the 446th AW who have deployed for 90 days or more in support of current operations and family members who attend, are eligible to have their expenses reimbursed. Guardsmen and reservists who have not been deployed are ineligible for reimbursement, but are welcome as well. Previous workshop participants are encouraged to attend. 

Topics to be covered at the workshop include financial counseling, effective communication tips, the 'Troops to Teachers' initiative, education programs, veteran service organizations, Tricare and other veteran benefits. 

For more information on eligibility, accommodations, and daycare and registration, contact Master Sgt. Steven Thomas, NCO in charge of the center, at (253) 982-5330. 

To find out more about the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration program and to find workshops,visit www.jointservicesupport.org.    

January 20, 2010 at 5:09pm

Paper airplane contest

The Olympic Flight Museum in Olympia hosts the 10th annual Paper Airplane School & Contest from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 13. The event is open to participants of all ages, and will focus on various types of folding and flying paper airplanes - from simple examples to the "cutting edge" in paper airplane technology.

Experts will be on hand to guide participants from construction, first flight and advance maneuvering. A distance and spot landing contest will begin at 2:30 p.m., with prizes awarded in various categories. Admission for flight school participants is $7, which includes professional instruction, all construction materials and a snack. Spectator and general admission is $5. Children 6 and younger are free.  The Olympic Flight Museum is located at the Olympia Regional Airport. 

For more information, visit www.olympicflightmuseum.com or call (360) 705-3925.

Filed under: Education, Olympia, History,

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