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Pope Goes All The Way!

  • Published
  • By Col. Timothy Zadalis
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Commander
 A great, big Thank You to everyone who came out, participated, volunteered and sponsored the Pope Team Endurance Relay on Friday! The event was a huge success, with almost 170 participants in the relay and countless volunteers making the whole day come together. Thanks also to the sponsors, particularly the Pope Special Activities Committee, Embarq, Dick's Sporting Goods, MJ Soffee, Circuit City and Healy Wholesale. 

Two people who embodied the spirit of this event are Michael Campbell of the 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Raelyn Hagenow, of the 23rd Operations Support Squadron. Michael Campbell participated in the 24-hour relay as a one-man team and ran 41 miles! Sergeant Hagenow was on the 23rd Fighter Group team of superheroes as Superwoman, and she never ran out of energy or enthusiasm. The rest of the 23rd FG team was dressed as different superheroes, including Mr. Incredible, Captain America and Space Ghost. These two individuals and the 23rd FG team typified the spirit of the Pope Team Endurance Relay. 

The Loud Stereo contest ended the day on a high note. Seventeen folks participated, and I was impressed with the effort these people put into their sound systems. Of course, seeing the staff car all decked out was really fun, too. I had one Airman tell me that I'd probably win the contest, but that my car looked like I was on my way to a pawn shop. Maybe next year I won't have to have a generator plugged into my car for power.
Last week during the commander's calls I mentioned Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Col. Jay Zeamer and we all viewed the History Channel documentary on "Old 666." He was one of two Medal of Honor recipients from the 43rd Bombardment Group, which later became the 43rd Airlift Wing. Lt. Col. Zeamer passed away late last week, and we all share in his family's sorrow at his loss. His contributions to our Air Force and the 43rd Airlift Wing will not be forgotten. 

I'd like to welcome to Pope Lt. Col. Anthony Dill and his wife Josephine. Colonel Dill will command the prestigious Army Golden Knights. The people at Pope, Fort Bragg, and the surrounding communities make this a great place to be stationed, and we're glad to have you here. 

Finally, despite the commander's calls last week and an awesome 24-hour Pope Team Endurance Relay, we had two DUIs and an alcohol incident in the dorms this past weekend. These incidents are disappointing, and I need each of you to continue pushing hard to hone the Wingman concept. We have to be there for our people, and driving drunk is not, and never will be acceptable -- it's dangerous, and it's irresponsible. 

Remember this weekend to be SAFE, look out for your WINGMAN and never be THAT GUY.