News>Rescue squadron 'drops in' on children's hospital
Pararescuemen from the 304th Rescue Squadron off load toys at the Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emmanuel in Portland, Ore., Aug. 6, 2012. The PJs arrived by air, via HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters from the 305th Rescue Squadron, and from the ground on Humvees. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Luke Johnson)
Pararescuemen from the 304th Rescue Squadron off load toys at the Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emmanuel in Portland, Ore., Aug. 6, 2012. The PJs went room to room in the hospital to deliver the toys. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Luke Johnson)
An HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from the 305th Rescue Squadron lands at the Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emmanuel in Portland, Ore., Aug. 6, 2012. The helicopter off-loaded pararescuemen from the 304th Rescue Squadron as they delivered toys during "Operation Toy Drop." (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Luke Johnson)
by Master Sgt. Luke Johnson
943rd Rescue Group Public Affairs
8/13/2012 - PORTLAND, Ore. (AFNS) -- The young boys and girls at the Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emmanuel were treated to a special surprise by pararescuemen from the 304th Rescue Squadron here Aug. 6.
Arriving by air, via HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters from the 305th Rescue Squadron, and from the ground in Humvees, the Airmen delivered toys room to room during "Operation Toy Drop."
Maj. Quintin Nelson, combat rescue officer with the 304th RQS, came up with the idea.
"My son was here in the hospital in June 2009 for three weeks due to a serious illness," Nelson said. "My wife and I were here the entire time, and we got to know what it was like to be in the hospital with a sick child for a long time. We got really good care and help from everyone in the hospital system. When we left the hospital my wife and I discussed donating money or something to the hospital."
In June, Nelson was on board a helicopter during a landing survey mission of the hospital's helicopter pad and got the idea to put out a request for toys and to deliver them via the Pave Hawk.
"When my son was here, he was given toys," said Nelson. "He could not even speak; he was still working on his words, and it made such a difference for him."
Once the helicopters touched down during the operation, the children were excited to see the PJs run out with the boxes of toys.
"The children were able to go to the window and see the helicopters land, and the kids loved it; they were thrilled to be a part of that," said Lynn Davis, certified child life specialist with the hospital.
She said the hospital was both grateful and thrilled to receive four large boxes of toys.
"The kids' faces lit up as they were brought their favorite toy, art project or a stuffed animal," said Davis. "It meant a lot to the parents and made the kids' day."
Not only did the young patients receive joy from the toy delivery, it also brightened the hospital staff's day as well.
"Seeing these uniformed U.S. Air Force young men and women come in and present them with something that they absolutely love just warmed my heart," said Davis. "To see their faces light up brought a smile to my face. The nurses were smiling, the doctors were smiling and all staff were grinning ear to ear."
The children's hospital consistently relies on donations to get toys for the children during their stay in the hospital.
"Having this massive toy donation filled a need that we have," said Davis. "It's incredible, and it's exactly what we needed. We are so thankful, and we could not be giving to the kids the way we do without the help and giving hearts like those that serve in the Air Force."
Nelson said any small amount of service a unit can do for its community can go a long way to helping others in need.
"I would recommend that if you have a unit that can help out the community, even if it's a small difference, it's worth doing," said Nelson.
8/14/2012 8:51:38 AM ET The personnel of the 920th are truly a Class Act - Everytime I read a story about this unit and what it accomplishes I'm filled with pride to have served with selfless Warriors such as this. Keep it up Guardian Angels
MSgt Ret., Austin Texas
8/13/2012 8:41:43 PM ET A proud tradition for helping others lives on Congratulations 304th PJ'sGod Bless and Fly Safe