Warrior spirit restores stolen Christmas

  • Published
  • By Capt. Cathleen Snow
  • 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
Christmas spirit was stolen away from a deployed Airman serving in Afghanistan when his home in south Florida was burglarized and all of his kids' Christmas presents taken from beneath the tree days before Christmas.

As a combat-search-and-rescue helicopter crew chief, Staff Sgt. Kristopher Castillobrock, deployed from the 920th Rescue Wing here, received the news from home after a day of launching life-saving missions out of Kandahar Airfield to rescue injured service members.

Feeling helpless and unable to provide comfort and security to his wife and three kids from afar, Castillobrock went to his first sergeant at the 26th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, Master Sgt. Matt English, who immediately mobilized the warrior spirit to help.

"Unfortunately, when these tragedies happen around the holidays, we are especially affected by the loss," said Col. Robert Ament, the 920th RQW vice commander.

When the tragic news was reported back to the 920th RQW here, Airmen and key spouses of Airmen pulled together to return Christmas to the young family. While the family is safe, wing members not only mobilized an effort to resupply the gifts, but they took their support to a higher level to restore the family's sense of security.

"We've contacted the 482nd Fighter Wing and (U.S. Southern Command) (both located near Miami) and fellow Airmen are heading to the burglarized home to repair the break-in damage and look into installing an alarm system," Ament said.

The family expressed their gratitude for all of the support and said the children were excited that "the Air Force was going to help them." They also expressed gratitude for English's help in coordinating police assistance so the family could return to the home to get clothing without being afraid.

Santa Clause is expected to head back to the family's home for a second go-round of present delivery very soon.

"'These things we do, that others may live,'" Ament said. "For the 920th Rescue Wing, this isn't just a motto -- it's a mission we live by, both at home station and abroad."

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