JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO –
Service members and civilian employees paused from their daily routines Nov. 8 and grabbed hoes, rakes and clippers to help clean up landscaping and beautify areas around 502nd Air Base Wing facilities throughout Joint Base San Antonio.
Because of the grounds and custodial service reductions that have been implemented as a result of sequestration's severe impacts on installation support resources, members of the 502nd Air Base Wing and the mission support groups throughout JBSA participated in the first-ever 502nd Air Base Wing Pride Day, cleaning areas both inside and outside their facilities.
"What a great day," said Brig. Gen. Robert LaBrutta, 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA commander. "I am proud and honored to be part of this team who understands today's environment and works together in taking care of the grounds and facilities we're so fortunate to inhabit."
LaBrutta praised the members of the wing for their work and dedication.
"No matter what it is, no matter the resource constraints we are under, we must continue to develop innovative ideas ... and return to 'old school' thinking on how we can continue to make installation stewardship an important part of our responsibilities," the general said.
"This effort not only shows through actions the pride that we have in our installation, but it also reinforces the teamwork and camaraderie that is built into every member of our organization by participating in an event like this."
Reduced funding in the Department of Defense has impacted many installation support services such as grass cutting and janitorial services that are provided to the JBSA community.
Pride Day is a way to promote cleanliness, enhance appearance and ensure good stewardship of all the 502nd ABW facilities.
Staff Sgt. Alfredo Miranda Rosales, noncommissioned officer in charge of the 502nd Air Base Wing's Commanders Action Group, thought the event was a huge success.
"It was nice to take a break from our daily routines and come together as an organization to do something like this across JBSA," Miranda Rosales said.
"I love these types of events because they always promote camaraderie and unit cohesiveness. I'm looking forward to doing it again."
"502nd ABW pride in appearance isn't just a one-day event, it is a continuous focus on keeping our installation, our home, our workplace looking the best it possibly can on a daily basis," said Antony Person, 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron Operations Flight.
Now that the 502nd ABW has successfully launched this initiative across its wing staff agencies, groups and squadrons, LaBrutta will communicate and highly encourage a "JBSA-wide Pride Day" to all Fort Sam Houston, Lackland, and Randolph mission partners with a plan to make this a semi-annual (fall/spring) event starting in the spring of 2014.