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MacDill Reserve Citizen Airmen pay their respects to medical professionals

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Members of the 927th Air Refueling Wing present a banner that reads: “The 927th Air Refueling Wing salutes our medical care providers. Thank you for all you do to keep us Tampa strong.” The banner was to show appreciation to those in the medical field who are on the frontlines battling against the global pandemic COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Peter Dean)

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Members of the 927th Air Refueling Wing and Tampa General Hospital gathered at TGH in Tampa, Florida, on May 1 to present a banner that reads: “The 927th Air Refueling Wing salutes our medical care providers. Thank you for all you do to keep us Tampa strong.” The banner was an effort to show appreciation to those in the medical field who are on the frontlines battling against the global pandemic COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Peter Dean)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 927th Air Refueling Wing ventured to Tampa General Hospital on May 1, 2020 to show appreciation to medical professionals in their fight against the global pandemic COVID-19.

During the gathering, members of the wing presented the hospital with a banner that read: “The 927th Air Refueling Wing salutes our medical care providers. Thank you for all you do to keep us Tampa strong.”

Chris Roederer, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Tampa General Hospital and 927th Aerospace Medical Squadron honorary commander says the appreciation from our military shows just how much they care for our community.

“This means a lot for members of the wing to show their support here to our medical professionals,” said Roederer. “Being an honorary commander, I understand how busy Reserve Citizen Airmen are from trainings and other essential requirements needed to be mission-ready at any given time, so for them to take time from their schedules truly means a lot.”

Here at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, honorary commanders are selected every two years and paired up with squadron, group and wing commanders to experience the mission of the 6th Air Mobility Wing and 927 ARW. During this term, the honorary commanders gain access to the base and immerse with units across the wing to gain first-hand experience on how the mission gets accomplished.

Roederer knows firsthand how quickly life can change for Reserve Citizen Airmen as his counterpart with the 927 AMDS, Col. Jennifer Ratcliff, 927 AMDS commander, deployed to New York with several other members of her squadron to assist in battling COVID-19. 

927 ARW commander Col. Doug Stouffer appreciates the sacrifice from the members of the 927 AMS and those in the medical field during tumultuous times across the world.

“What these professionals do on a daily basis is remarkable especially in such a time where not only our country but globally we’re all affected by this virus,” said Stouffer. “To be here at TGH showing support to these professionals where even a few of our reservists work is great. We certainly appreciate their service to our city.”

The mutual respect amongst the local community and MacDill stems from its long standing partnership that’s lasted years.

“The way this community rallies around us as military members is special and we value that,” said Chief Paul Tomlinson, 927 ARW command chief. “This time, we wanted to pay our respects to those who are on the frontlines battling against this virus.”