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AFRC leadership thanks Citizen Airmen for hurricane rescue efforts

AFRC leadership thanks Citizen Airmen for hurricane rescue efforts

Col. Kurt Matthews, second from right, 920th Rescue Wing commander, introduces Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, second from left, chief of Air Force Reserve, Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Lewis Jr., third from left, director of Air Force Reserve Command Air, Space and Information Operations; and Chief Master Sgt. Ericka E. Kelly, middle, AFRC command chief master sergeant, to the 308th Rescue Squadron before touring the unit Oct. 2, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. The AFRC leaders spent the day visiting with 920th Rescue Wing Citizen Airmen and thanking them for their hard work during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. (U.S. Air Force photo/Phil Sunkel)

AFRC leadership thanks Citizen Airmen for hurricane rescue efforts

Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, left, chief of Air Force Reserve, thanks Master Sgt. Michelle St. Laurent, 920th Communications Flight radio frequency transmissions systems specialist, for her role in the 920th Rescue Wing’s preparation and response efforts for Hurricane Irma, during a visit Oct. 2, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Miller was accompanied by Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Lewis Jr., director of Air Force Reserve Command Air, Space and Information Operations; and Chief Master Sgt. Ericka E. Kelly, AFRC command chief master sergeant, on the day-long meet-and-greet and tour of the 920th RQW. (U.S. Air Force photo/Phil Sunkel)

AFRC leadership thanks Citizen Airmen for hurricane rescue efforts

Lt. Col. Stephanie Shaw, center, 920th Force Support Squadron commander, shows Air Force Reserve Command leadership the damage caused by Hurricane Irma to Hangar 313 during a tour of the facility Oct. 2, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. The hangar, which housed the 920th FSS, was one of many facilities on base devastated by the hurricane. Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, left, chief of Air Force Reserve; Chief Master Sgt. Ericka E. Kelly, second from left, AFRC command chief master sergeant; and Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Lewis Jr., third from left, director of Air Force Reserve Command Air, Space and Information Operations; spent the day visiting with Citizen Airmen and thanking them for their hard work during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. (U.S. Air Force photo/Phil Sunkel)

AFRC leadership thanks Citizen Airmen for hurricane rescue efforts

Chief Master Sgt. Dean Peterson, left, superintendent of the 920th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, explains an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter maintenance issue to Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, middle, chief of Air Force Reserve; and Chief Master Sgt. Ericka E. Kelly, command chief master sergeant of Air Force Reserve Command, Oct. 2, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. The AFRC leaders spent the day visiting with 920th Rescue Wing Citizen Airmen and thanking them for their hard work during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. (U.S. Air Force photo/Phil Sunkel)

AFRC leadership thanks Citizen Airmen for hurricane rescue efforts

Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, right, chief of Air Force Reserve, presents Staff Sgt. Kyle Dudley, 920th Maintenance Squadron aircraft hydraulic system craftsman, and other 920th Maintenance Group Citizen Airmen with her commander’s coin Oct. 2, 2017 as a token of her appreciation for their hard work during the unit’s response efforts with Hurricanes Harvey and Katrina at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Miller spent the day touring the 920th Rescue Wing along with Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Lewis Jr., director of Air Force Reserve Command Air, Space and Information Operations; and Chief Master Sgt. Ericka E. Kelly, AFRC command chief master sergeant. (U.S. Air Force photo/Phil Sunkel)

AFRC leadership thanks Citizen Airmen for hurricane rescue efforts

Master Sgt. Eric Wenseritt, second from right, 308th Rescue Squadron vehicle maintenance supervisor, briefs Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, third from right, chief of Air Force Reserve; Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Lewis Jr., right, director of Air Force Reserve Command Air, Space and Information Operations; and Chief Master Sgt. Ericka E. Kelly, third from left, AFRC command chief master sergeant, on some of the equipment pararescuemen use in the field during a tour of the unit Oct. 2, 2017 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. The Air Force Reserve leaders spent the day visiting with 920th Rescue Wing Citizen Airmen and thanking them for their hard work during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. (U.S. Air Force photo/Phil Sunkel)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Air Force Reserve Command leadership spent the day visiting with 920th Rescue Wing Citizen Airmen Oct. 2, 2017 to personally thank them for their hard work during and after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, chief of Air Force Reserve, Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Lewis Jr., director of Air Force Reserve Command Air, Space and Information Operations; and Chief Master Sgt. Ericka E. Kelly, command chief master sergeant of AFRC, traveled from Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia, to Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, in order to get an up-close look at the wing and the men and women within it who proudly serve.

"That connection that you all make with people that you save is unreal," Miller said, "and you may never see them again. In fact, most of them you don't, but that is something they will never forget. That is something that will go with them until the end of their life because someone was there. Someone descended down from the heavens to help them out."

Miller presented Airmen throughout the wing with her commander's coin as a sign of appreciation for their diligence and dedication over the last month in response to the back-to-back hurricanes. The wing rescued 235 people, 21 dogs and five cats during Hurricane Harvey before returning home a few days later to evacuate their families and wing assets in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

"Thank you for wearing the uniform," Miller said. "Thank you for being great Americans. Thank you for what you do for this country. Only one percent of the country serves. That's a very small percentage of us. You're special. You're special to this country and to its people and you will never be forgotten by the people that you reach every day."