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Airman goes home for Salute to Service

Airman goes home for Salute to Service

Story by A1C Milton Hamilton on 01/17/2019

An Airman stationed on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, participated in a Salute to Service event in New Orleans, Louisiana, Nov. 5.

The Salute to Service event allowed Airman 1st Class Jaron Augustus, 86th Communications Squadron systems technician, to travel back to his hometown to surprise his family on the field of a National Football League game.

The coordinators of the event wanted his homecoming to be a surprise.

“No one could know I was home,” said Augustus. “I could not get on any social media or go anywhere in the city, until after the game.”

While not being an official sponsor of the NFL or the Salute to Service event, the American Red Cross reached out to his commander to find an eligible service member to support the event.

“The Red Cross asked me to find an Airman who was from New Orleans within my squadron,” said Lt. Col. Steven Brummit, 86th CS commander. “Airman Augustus fit the criteria.”

After Augustus was chosen, the coordinators of the event needed to figure out how to invite his family to the game without raising suspicions and ruining the surprise.

To get the Airman’s family to come to the game, they were told they were being awarded NFL tickets, because of a raffle he had won.

“It had only been a year since I left for Germany,” said Augustus. “I didn’t realize how much I had missed my family. They were really surprised to see me.”

The event was emotional, said Augustus. Civilians kept coming up to me, crying and thanking me for my service. It felt good to get that kind of welcome from strangers.

While back home, Augustus was able to see his friends, family and his recruiter.

“If an Airman gets the opportunity to participate in a Salute to Service event in their hometown, I would suggest they take advantage of it,” said Augustus. “It is a great opportunity to surprise family and showcase growth.”

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