Seymour Johnson AFB Community
Shaved ice on a hot summer day
Story by Charles Haymond on 09/12/2019
Although approximately 3,200 personnel were displaced from 44 work centers , Team Offutt members have continued accomplishing their mission without discrepancy.
The idea came while the 55th Wing Chaplain core was having a meeting to discuss ways they could help morale around the base.
“I think because the flood relief has fallen off the radar, people don’t realize that our people are dislocated and are working in more difficult environments to get the same mission done,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Kevin Humphrey, 55th Wing head chaplain. “The Offutt Chapel is striving to find meaningful ways to say thank you’ so our Airman know they are truly appreciated for the work they do and for going above and beyond every single day.”
During the meeting Humphrey told a story of earlier in his career he when was stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, and the base took part in a shaved ice event. He said the event was highly successful and suggested hosting one here.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Robert Rose, 55th Wing chaplain, took the idea from Humphrey and started planning. Rose soon reached out to a local shaved ice and ice cream truck company.
“They also have a desire to support Offutt and were generous with their pricing.” Rose said. “We were pleased with their quality and wanted something more than a tabletop snow cone machine.”
The First Sergeants Association helped Rose and the other chaplains identify locations that would serve their units and advertise to the members. Chaplain Jasmine Tesdahl did a lot of the initial research for the event including security and public health coordination.
Team Offutt members from across the base received shaved ice and met with the chaplain corps at various stops the truck made during its visit to the base.
“I think it’s a great morale booster for a lot of people,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. William Vessels, 55th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron communication navigator mission systems. “Just kind of cut the monotony of the day and take your mind off of the work momentarily.”
The base chaplains said that all the work of planning and executing the event was well worth it when they were able to see how happy it made those who participated.
“It’s always great when an event you see from its inception comes together,” Rose said. “Of course there’s last minute things that come up, but to see the smiles and hear people laugh as they wait in line has been a blessing and encouragement to me.”