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Running to remember: a Port Dawg memorial

Airmen running on a trail.

U.S. Air Force Airmen run along a path during the annual Port Dawg Memorial Run at Aaron Bessant Memorial Park in Panama City Beach, Florida, May 27, 2021. During the run, Airmen carried 12 devices, which are used to secure cargo on aircraft during transportation, every 2T2 or Port Dawg has used a device at one time during their career. Each device was dedicated to an aerial transportation specialist who lost their life over the past year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Airmen standing during memorial service.

U.S. Air Force Airmen stand for a moment of silence during the annual Port Dawg Memorial Run ceremony at Aaron Bessant Memorial Park in Panama City Beach, Florida May 27, 2021. After the run, the Airmen in attendance who had carried a device hung it on a set of chains in remembrance of each fallen Port Dawg. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Airmen pose for a photo.

U.S. Air Force Airmen pose during the annual Port Dawg Memorial Run opening ceremony at Aaron Bessant Memorial Park in Panama City Beach, Florida, May 27, 2021. The 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron small air terminal organized a tri-base memorial run to include Hurlburt Field, Eglin Air Force Base and Tyndall AFB, in honor of fallen air transportation specialists. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s small air terminal organized a tri-base memorial event May 27, to include Hurlburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base, in honor of fallen aerial transportation specialists.

Thirty aerial porters, or 2T2s, met at Aaron Bessant Memorial Park in Panama City Beach, Florida for the one mile Port Dawg Memorial Run.

“This event honors the memories of our fallen Port Dawg wingmen,” said Tech. Sgt. Jason Eubanks, 96th LRS noncommissioned officer in charge of air transportation function, assigned to Eglin AFB. “It reminds [us] of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and allows us to come together as a career field, reflect and pay our respects.”

Aerial transporters, also known as Port Dawgs, use MB-1 cargo tie-down devices and chains on a daily basis to secure cargo during flights; they are something every Port Dawg has handled at one time. Twelve Airmen ran the mile with an MB-1 dedicated to each fallen Airman lost in 2020. The run ended with a moment of silence and a ceremony where each tie-down was then hung on a set of chains.

“This event is incredibly important to me since we have a relatively small career field and every loss we suffer hits home,” said Staff Sgt. Brady Runk, 325th LRS air terminal function supervisor, assigned to Tyndall AFB. “We set aside time every year to be with one another and remember those who are no longer with us.”

The Port Dawg Memorial Run is an annual event recognized across the career field, however, Runk explained that the memorial goes beyond the size and location of the event.

“It’s about remembrance and that is something a 2T2, whether active duty, guard, reserve, retired or prior service, no matter where they’re stationed, will always participate in,” said Runk.

This year’s run honored the lives of Master Sgt. Christopher Messer, Tech. Sgt. Christopher Ewing, Tech. Sgt. Karl Reichenbach, Tech. Sgt. Paul Weaver, Staff Sgt. Ronald Ouelletee, Staff Sgt. Deion Swann, Staff Sgt. James Wojcik, Staff Sgt. Tyler Connolly, Senior Airman Robert Polin Jr., Senior Airman Adrian Fundora, Airman 1st Class Kongmong Vang and Mr. Joel “JoJo” Rillo.