Team Offutt shows appreciation during Independence Day

  • Published
  • By JB Artley
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

In an effort to show support and appreciation to the community surrounding Offutt AFB, 55th Wing leadership and members of Team Offutt celebrated Independence Day in the local area.   

The Heartland of America Band’s Raptor ensemble held a concert July 2, at the SumTer Amphitheater. Col. Aaron Gray, 55th Wing deputy commander, gave the opening remarks to help start the show.

"The Fourth of July holiday is a celebration of America's independence, in which we are reminded of the vital role every active military member plays in preserving the freedoms our founding fathers fought for in 1776," Gray said. "This celebration is a testament to our commitment to serving a cause greater than ourselves, ensuring the legacy of freedom endures for future generations."

Col. Gray thanked the audience on behalf of the nearly 11,000 service members at Offutt AFB for their support.  The Raptor show was just one of six celebrate America free summer concerts to highlight the 4th of July holiday.

The mission of the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band is to inspire the hearts and minds of its listeners to increased patriotism and an enhanced awareness of the bravery and sacrifice of Airmen serving throughout Air Combat Command.

The next event the 55th Wing leadership took part in was an Omaha Storm Chasers’ game. According to Katie Scott, Omaha Storm Chasers game operations coordinator, on July 3rd, they found the perfect representative in Col. Mark Howard, to throw the first pitch. By featuring Col. Howard, the Storm Chasers emphasized the importance of recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of our military personnel.

"It was an honor to throw out the first pitch at the Storm Chasers game, and I'm deeply grateful for the unwavering support our community shows the men and women of Offutt AFB," Howard said. "Their exceptional dedication and critical work are fundamental to safeguarding our nation, firmly rooted in the heart of this resilient community."

Between the sixth and seventh innings, the Storm Chasers asked all Veterans, Active-duty, National Guard and Reserve members to stand with Col. Howard and be recognized for their service as well.

Col. Howard and Col. Gray encourage all members of Offutt AFB to engage with the local communities to thank them for the support they show us.