177th Fighter Wing participates in local school event

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Amber Powell
  • 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Local first responders and military personnel visited Alder Avenue Middle School in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey to celebrate the school's Not All Heroes Wear Capes event on June 9, 2015.

Airmen from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing and first responders brought equipment and set up display tables to teach the students about the services they provide to the local community.

"The goal of this project from an educational standpoint was to have the students learn, think about, and honor the roles our first responders and military play in keeping our great nation safe," said Kelli Wenzel, teacher and coordinator of the event. "Additionally, the students were exposed to a variety of professions that may be future job opportunities for them."
Explosive ordnance disposal technicians from the 177th FW brought an Air Force Medium-Sized Robot and protective gear to show students. Firefighters from the Wing unrolled fire hoses from their truck and allowed students to spray water. Also, a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as the Humvee, from the Wing's 227th Air Support Operations Squadron, was on display along with a tactical vest and ballistic helmet that students could try on.

"This is the coolest thing I've ever seen," said a student referring to the Humvee. "It's like the toys but bigger!"

Students from sixth and seventh grade participated along with second graders from Slaybaugh Elementary.

"We have been holding this event for 10 years, but the event has grown to include over 200 students since receiving a mini grant from the Egg Harbor Township Education Foundation," said Wenzel. "We wanted the students to be able to learn about the jobs of our first responders and military and to gain an understanding of the sacrifices that our heroes make."