Osan hosts memorial 5K’s in memory of fallen Airmen
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Osan Airmen completed two 5K runs in memory of fallen Air Force brethren this past week. Though they weren't killed in the line of duty, these individuals dedicated their lives to protecting the freedoms of our nation.
The first event was held Feb. 28 in honor of Tech. Sgt. Curtis Eccleston, a fallen aerial porter, who was killed while stationed at Kadena Air Base, Japan, in February 2011. Master Sgt. Amy Aguilar, 731st Air Mobility Squadron combat readiness superintendent, was stationed with Eccleston at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and helped coordinate the tribute.
"It started as an anniversary event to commemorate him for his service," said Aguilar. "For me, because I knew him at McGuire, it was also a way to remember a fallen porter, co-worker and person. The aerial port community is a pretty close career field so we invited other ports to join in, and we all pulled together to show our support and appreciation for him and each other through this event. It was a huge loss and a tragedy. He was an up and coming NCO, had a positive attitude, was great at his job and was an overall fantastic person."
Nine other bases around the world held similar events to help celebrate and remember Sergeant Eccleston.
The second 5K was held March 2 in remembrance of Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback, an LRS Airman, and Senior Airman Nick Alden, a Security Forces Airman. These Airmen were also killed in 2011, in a shooting at the Frankfurt Airport in Germany. The 51st LRS along with the 51st SFS coordinated and took place in the run.
"Like our Airman's Creed states 'I will never leave an Airman behind,' we do not want to forget our fallen heroes," said Staff Sgt. Nathan Dunlap, 51st LRS vehicle operations equipment support manger. "Airman 1st Class Cuddeback and Senior Airman Alden's passing reminds all of us that we must fly or fight no matter the mission or location. We must always be ready no matter where we are or what we are doing. The two members gave the ultimate sacrifice doing their day-to-day job in a sovereign nation."
This was first 5K held on Osan in honor of these two Airmen.