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Edwards honors 13 teammates lost this year

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing

Members of the 412th Test Wing and Edwards Air Force Base, California, community gathered to honor the 13 teammates who have passed away this year with a memorial service, Aug. 28.

The 13 Edwards AFB personnel: Rachelle Addario, Senior Airman Cody B. Chrisman, Kenneth Correnti, Billie Hampton, Leroy Hugges, Airman 1st Class Corey D. Jones, Jr., Brian Martinez, Marlon Scott, Warren Seidel, Lea Stoebling, Richard Talamantez, Senior Airman Timo J. Timoteo, and Staff Sgt. Kylle J. White, were honored each with a bouquet of flowers and a flag folding presentation on stage at the base theater.

“There’s an Airman and a story behind each one of these arrangements; the characters, the details and the timelines of each of these stories are different, but the idea of someone serving something bigger than themselves exists in each and everyone one,” said Command Chief Master Sgt. Ian Eishen, 412th Test Wing Command Chief. “Today we are here to remember these Airmen, we are their students. Tomorrow, all of must transition and become their storytellers so that their stories and these Airmen live forever.”

The memorial was broadcast live throughout the base due to COVID-19 protection conditions. The unforeseen impact of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier in the year affected plans for individual memorial services before social distancing and gathering guidelines were established.

“One of the biggest negative impacts on the healing process of human loss is proper and timely funeral service and memorials of our loved ones so we can properly grieve and begin the emotional and physical recovery process,” said Dan Osburn, 412th Test Wing Technical Director.

Osburn said that due to his long tenure at Edwards, he had known a few of those that passed away personally.

“I’ve been at Edwards for over two decades and several of our Airmen losses were great coworkers and friends of mine; some were young and new to Edwards and I’d not had the privilege to get know as well…but all of them had a dedication to our nation and were connected to Team Edwards,” Osburn said.

Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer, the 412th Test Wing Commander, encouraged those in attendance to use the memory of those lost as motivation to continue to find ways to increase connections to each other and help each other to heal from these losses.

“I could not be more proud to have worked with, and for, these amazing Airmen,” Higer said. “I am confident these lost Airmen would want us to move forward and continue the work that they have devoted so much of their lives to. I am also confident that they would want us to heal, both individually and heal as groups of humans from the wounds of their loss.”

Higer also encouraged his team to not let the COVID-19 pandemic overcome their healing process, but rather be mindful of the threat and take the opportunity to strengthen relationships and connections.

“I am highly confident they would not want us, in these moments of grief, to be isolated. So in their honor, let’s all leave this ceremony today, in their honor, vigilant. Vigilant to the real risk of further loss and death due to this virus,” Higer added. “We’re all here for each other, as they were here for us.”

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.