Pease Airmen provide a day to remember

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Larlee
  • Air Force News Agency
Airmen hosted an air show here for special-needs children Aug. 17 in advance of the Pease Air National Guard Base's air show Aug. 18 and 19. 

The event, which included a drill team performance, music and a front-row view of numerous aerial acts, gave children with disabilities or special circumstances a chance to take part in an air show experience, while avoiding the crowds of the weekend event.

The special needs show, which is one of several Air Force Week New England events, was attended by Lori Safford and her sons, 11-year-old Benjamin and 9-year-old Samuel, who both have muscular dystrophy. She said her boys were having a great time.

"It's nice to come in advance of the air show and get a private viewing," she said. "We spend a lot of time in doctors' offices and attending physical therapy sessions three times a week. It is just nice to be able to get out of the house and have a great time."

Tech. Sgt. Beverly Perriccio, the NCO in charge of the Air National Guard's Band of the Northeast Brass Tacks Quintet, said she couldn't think of a better way to spend her time.

"It is very rewarding to give a little brightness to these children (who) need it," said Sergeant Perriccio, who is a teacher in her civilian life. "It makes us feel good as members of the military and the community to play a part in an event like this special-needs show."

The best part of the event was being able to get see the real faces behind the Air Force, Mrs. Safford said.

"It's neat to be able to do something that other kids don't get a chance to do, because my boys can't do a lot of things normal kids take for granted," she said. "To drive on base and see everyone in camouflage is exciting. It makes the Air Force look like real men and women, and not just an organization."

New England is one of six locations to host an Air Force Week. Air Force Week events reach beyond the normal open house as Airmen reach out to communities of major cities in an effort to highlight the Air Force's role in today's military operations as the service approaches its 60th anniversary.

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