NEW YORK (AFNS) --
More than 30 Airmen helped clean up one of New York City's well-known military memorials as part of Air Force Week here Aug. 25.
Despite rainy weather, Airmen from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst donned gloves and ponchos while they beautified the 11-acre Grand Army Plaza. This plaza is the opening to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and the site of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch, a memorial dedicated to servicemembers who died during the Civil War.
This Air Force Volunteer Day is a first for an Air Force Week, and one of three volunteer events scheduled to be held this week. These events are designed for Airmen to show their support and appreciation for the citizens of New York, while educating them about the Air Force mission.
The Grand Army Plaza is the most-used entrance to Prospect Park, said Jessica Jamhoury, a project coordinator with Prospect Volunteer Corps.
"It's difficult to maintain this area," she said. "It's amazing the impact that you can make with 50 people in four hours, so it's wonderful to have you guys here. It's wonderful to have (the plaza) looking it's best, and it's the best way to honor our Soldiers and Sailors."
One volunteer came not only to support the event as a Reserve Airman assigned to JB McGuire, but also as a member of the local community.
Staff Sgt. Edward Blunnie, a pest management technician, is assigned to the 514th Civil Engineer Squadron at JB McGuire, said he only lives a few miles from the park, so he decided to come help out with the event.
"I'm an early riser and I figured 'why not, I help my wife with the garden, let me help out here as well,'" said Sergeant Blunnie, who also manages the base cleanup team at JB McGuire. "I take pride in all I do. So, I figured, 'you know what, give back and help the community.'"
Airmen will also clean up Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and visit with veterans at the James J. Peters Veterans Affairs Hospital in the Bronx.
For more information on Air Force Week New York events, visit www.airforceweek.af.mil