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Incirlik adopts the "Alley"

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFPN) -- More than 110 airmen here "adopted the Alley" Nov. 23 by volunteering to pick up trash along a stretch of road off base most frequented by people here.

The project, sponsored by Incirlik's Air Force Sergeants Association Chapter 1660, was organized to thank Incirlik village merchants for the support they give the base.

Merchants routinely sponsor base events such as quarterly and annual awards banquets and help provide a safe off-base environment for Incirlik families by reporting suspicious people and activities.

The merchants are also opening shops on Sundays in December to allow base people more time to get holiday shopping in.

"We're part of this community, so we have an equal responsibility to keep it clean and looking good," said Chief Master Sgt. William Kennedy, 39th Wing command chief. "We had the total force out there -- Guard, Reserve, active duty, civilians, spouses -- that's a good deal. When people are involved, it makes them feel good. I know when I went home I felt good that I was out there doing something for someone."

Although AFSA sponsored the first alley cleanup, Kennedy said a different organization will take on the project every month.

"I volunteered because I found a way to contribute to the community, to share and meet people by doing something different from my everyday job," said Senior Airman Jenny Romero, from the 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron. "It's important to get involved in the community because this is where I live and spend most of my time, the place where I meet nice people and the place where a lot of people would like to be, so why not be and feel like a part of it."

The cleanup project is just one of many ways Incirlik people give back to the local community.

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