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2017 memorial run has special significance for Peterson Reserve aerial port squadron

Members of the 39th Aerial Port Squadron begin their 5K Memorial Run May 7, 2017 in Capt. David Lyon Memorial Park, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Aerial Port Squadrons from all over the world run in May as part of National Defense Transportation events to remember their fallen brothers and sisters. Capt. David Lyon, 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron, stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., was killed in December 2013 by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive in Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Daniel Butterfield)

Members of the 39th Aerial Port Squadron begin their 5K Memorial Run May 7, 2017 in Capt. David Lyon Memorial Park, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Aerial Port Squadrons from all over the world run in May as part of National Defense Transportation events to remember their fallen brothers and sisters. Capt. David Lyon, 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron, stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., was killed in December 2013 by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive in Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Daniel Butterfield)

Deployed 39th Aerial Port Squadron Airmen continued the tradition of the Port Dawg Memorial Run in Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar May 19, 2017. More than 40 Airmen turned out for the nighttime 5K run. (Courtesy photo)

Deployed 39th Aerial Port Squadron Airmen continued the tradition of the Port Dawg Memorial Run in Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar May 19, 2017. More than 40 Airmen turned out for the nighttime 5K run. (Courtesy photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Every May, Air Force Aerial Port Squadrons around the world honor their fallen brothers and sisters by participating in a memorial 5K run. May 7, 2017 marked the second straight year the 302nd Airlift Wing’s 39th Aerial Port Squadron participated as a unit. Approximately 60 Reserve “Port Dawgs” from the squadron gathered on the Sunday of the May Unit Training Assembly to honor their own and to reinforce the fact that they are not just a squadron but a family.

“For us it hit a little closer to home this year,” said Staff Sgt. Meagan Hasty, 39th APS air transportation craftsman and organizer of this year’s run. “We lost [Master Sgt.] Kelly Bartholomew back in November. Every year they publish one design across the Air Force for our memorial shirts. His name was on the shirt this year. Because of his loss it hit closer to home for us as a unit.”

This year’s run landed on the wing’s Wingman Day -- a day that focuses on resiliency an encourages Airmen to be supportive of one another.

“That was kind of a coincidence that [National Defense] Transportation events fell near Wingman Day. Even those who were not able to run assisted with the cookout afterwards or posted as road guards. So we still had max participation. We make sure everyone is involved in one way or another because we are a family and that’s what this run was about,” said Hasty.

Currently the 39th APS has approximately 35 Airmen deployed to several locations around the world. Hasty was sure to send out the memorial t-shirts so they could wear them as they participated at their location.

1st Lt. Erin Carpenter is one of the 39th APS deployed Airmen. She organized a run at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar last month. “The Port Dawg Memorial Run had special significance to me this year, as I was able to share the legacy of Master Sgt. Kelly Bartholomew with the Aerial Porters under my command in the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron,” said Carpenter.

They had approximately 40 people participate in the run at AUAB spanning different sections as well as 2T2s [Aerial Port Air Force Specialty Code] from outside organizations that are currently assigned to AUAB.

“The Port Dawg Memorial Run is an opportunity for me to come together with my Aerial Port team to honor the fallen 2T2s in our community. We are a proud and close-knit family of Airmen, so any loss amongst our own cuts deep across the entire career field,” said Carpenter.

The Aerial Port memorial runs take place every May, the same month as National Defense Transportation Day which recognizes the transportation professionals in the Department of Defense.

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