KC-46 team prioritizes veterans through Operation Spread Cheer

The KC-46 Pegasus System Program Office took an afternoon off from fueling the fight to encourage the Airmen who kept the mission flying before them at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Kennedy Way Community Living Center Dec. 6.

Each of the nine years since the office was awarded the contract for the KC-46 program in 2011, Airmen, including leadership, have been leaving one of the force’s newest tankers to load a bus with holiday decorations for veterans.

“No matter how stressful your job is or how difficult your tasks are to prioritize, come and spend time with these folks,” said Col. Jason Lindsey, the director of the KC-46 Program. “It will fix your perspective right away.”

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Twenty-five military members, civilians and contractors from the office hung wreaths and chatted with Americans who maintained the uniforms and missions they now wear or support every day at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“We want to keep our connection with the older generation to let them know that we’re still staying strong, protecting the country and taking care of them,” said Kandi Bowling, production lot buy program manager in the KC-46 office.

In all, the Airmen lit up about 80 doors and even more faces across multiple wards and floors of the nursing home.

Even Lindsey, who spent most of his visit in the Alzheimer’s unit, collected a few of the stories from veterans who each shaped today’s military.

“I don’t think you’ll ever better understand the blessings we have, why we serve, and why we do what we do than when you talk with these veterans and appreciate the sacrifice they’ve made for us,” said Lindsey. “I cherish the opportunity to know them.”

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