Fill Our Rucks
By by Tech. Sgt. Tamara Dabney, 103rd Airlift Wing
/ Published January 06, 2018
BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Conn. (December 2, 2017) -- Members of the 103rd Airlift Wing’s Flying Yankee Running Club teamed up with the Rocky Hill Veterans Center and Connecticut Children’s Hospital for the 2nd Annual “Fill Our Rucks” Toy Drive 5k Run Dec. 2, 2017, at Bradley Air National Guard Base.
The event helps to raise money and collect toys for children fighting various illnesses and military families who are in need. According to Maria Puetz, event coordinator and member of the 103rd Airlift Wing, participating in the “Fill Our Rucks” event is one way that Airmen can live by the Air Force Core Value, service before self.
”We always say we want to be mentors and follow core values—selfless service,” said Puetz. “We have to give back to our communities. Hopefully, it will be a snowball effect and we can help more and more people.”
Every year, military families who are in a deployment cycle and families of children who are seriously ill struggle to get the things that they need, especially during the holidays. When asked how it feels to provide a helping hand to families who are in need, Puetz responded with one word, “Humble.”
“A lot of these families, especially the ones with sick children, can’t afford it, because they are focused on hospital bills,” said Puetz. It makes you realize how lucky you are and how lucky your family is. Not everyone is as fortunate as you are. Some people need a little help. A little goes a long way.”
Members of the Connecticut Army and Air National Guard participated in the event. Race winners, Tech. Sgt. Helkin Sosa and Staff Sgt. Nathan Pisani of the 103rd Airlift Wing, were awarded 1st and 2nd place prizes, respectively. Prizes were donated, courtesy of Land Warrior Crossfit. Over 200 toys, drones and bikes were collected. Puetz hopes that the event will inspire other Airmen to volunteer their time in the local community.
“This may inspire other Airmen to do more events,” said Puetz. “It was a community event, so we got donations. People want to help people, who want to help people. You touch a lot of people’s lives by doing that.”