JOINT BASE SANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
An audience of nearly 1,000 people filled the cafeteria at Dolph Briscoe Middle School in San Antonio Nov. 9 for the school’s 9th annual Veterans Day observance.
Due to the weather, the event was moved indoors, which limited the attendance of students from a nearby elementary, active duty, National Guardsmen, Reserve Citizen Airmen and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps units. Instead, this year’s event was broadcast to classrooms in the school and to the nearby elementary.
The keynote speaker was U.S. Air Force Col. Kato Martinez, 26th Cyberspace Operations Group deputy commander. There were also choir performances, the school band playing patriotic music and a wreath-laying ceremony.
This year’s ceremony included attendance by Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 433rd Airlift Wing along with a four-legged first at the annual ceremony in the form of TThunder, a five-month old Belgian Malinois puppy from the Military Working Dog program at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
The double letter in the dog’s first name is not a misspelling. Puppies born in the program have the first letter of the name doubled as an identifier for the dog’s family lineage.
TThunder is being fostered by Tech. Sgt. Melissa Proscia, 433rd Airlift Wing command post, until he is seven months old. At that point he will return to the Military Working Dog program to begin training for a career as a patrol and detect dog. He has been living and going to work with Proscia since he was six months old.
“This event was amazing,” she said. “I was honored that we could be a part of it. TThunder did well of course and loved the attention.”
Besides Proscia and TThunder, Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 433rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron sent six Airmen to talk about their careers and a Humvee to explain to students how the vehicle is used to complete their missions.
“Having these folks from JBSA-Lackland is always a plus for our event,” said John Gonzalez, an instructional assistant at Briscoe. “When they leave I know they have enjoyed their visit to our school. My goal is always community involvement.”