TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Oklahoma --
Thousands of Team Tinker members proved to be excellent environmental stewards in celebration of Earth Month on April 13 by spreading out across Tinker Air Force Base and picking up foreign object debris during Tinker Pride Day.
72nd Air Base Wing Commander Col. Kenyon K. Bell stated in an email to Team Tinker that he had seen many people out and about cleaning up Tinker’s areas.
“Picking up trash across the base will help keep contaminants out of our creeks and surface waters,” Bell said. “It will also reduce the potential for FOD on our airfield and improve the safety of our flight crews. A well-kept installation enhances the base's appearance and makes Tinker a nicer place to work and to live.
“On any given day you can pick it up and pitch it! Let's all help keep our base clean.”
Although it was a blustery day, that didn’t dampen the spirits of husband and wife team, Catalina and Aaron Martinez, who meticulously gathered trash across the street from Bldg. 3001 – Aaron at one point was on his hands and knees picking up pesky trash remnants. Catalina is an inventory management specialist with the 421st Supply Chain Management Squadron, and Aaron is a management analyst in Resource Management for the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center.
“I work in the OC-ALC, but I wanted to join my wife for her squadron’s pick-up to contribute to beautifying the base by participating in Col. Bell’s effort to make Tinker beautiful again,” Aaron Martinez said. “Col. Bell is a really great guy. I was given permission by my supervisor to participate with my wife and we’re going to make Tinker beautiful for Earth Day.
“I’m so glad we’re a part of this. We’re finding everything from cigarette butts to a garden hose that was shredded, plus cups, containers and all sorts of stuff. We want to make our wonderful workplace beautiful.”
“We are inspired by Col. Bell’s leadership,” Catalina Martinez said. “He’s one of a kind. Without him it wouldn’t be done and we just want to say thank you.”
AFSC Command Chief Executive Assistant Staff Sgt. Bryan Lemire said he’s lived at Tinker Air Force Base for 10 years and he’s more than happy to help clean up the base.
“This is my home,” Lemire said. “I take pride in what I do, I take pride in the Air Force and I want Tinker to look like my home because this is where we live.”
AFSC Staff Sgt. Lindsey Otto said she wants her home to be clean.
“This is important because this is where we live,” Otto said. “We go through this front door every day and this is where we see, we drive and where we work out (exercise). This is our home.”
Capt. Samantha Davies with the 72nd Force Support Squadron was with 72nd FSS Marketing Director Debra Watts as they picked up garbage on the north side of Tinker near the Airmen and Family Readiness Center.
“We own Tinker and so it’s our responsibility to keep it looking good,” Davies said.
“It’s our duty to make sure we keep Tinker beautiful,” Watts said. “It’s home to most of us and we should take pride in where we work, live, and play.”
Across the street north of Bldg. 3001, 421st SCMS Item Manager Kevin Caras and Willie Common, an item manager with the 423rd SCMS, each carried large trash bags as they searched for more FOD.
“It is Earth Month and Earth Day next week (April 22),” Caras said. “We found trash all over and at the fence line.”
Common said FOD is dangerous to Tinker AFB’s aircraft.
“We’re doing base clean up,” Common said. “We’ve found garden hoses, cans and more. There are a number of us out here doing it.”
Meanwhile, Sharon Murray, flight chief with the 422nd SCMS, was collecting trash near the base’s Hruskocy Gate. She said she appreciates being able to participate in helping to keep Tinker AFB clean and contaminates out of its creeks. Her most found items were cigarette butts and disposable ear plugs.
“It is important that we take pride in our base and I feel blessed to have good health that enables me to participate,” Murray said.
AFSC Directorate of Personnel’s Robert Warren said that he and about 15 people from his group were “out here trying to do the right thing.”
“We have to take it upon ourselves to make this base a little more presentable,” Warren said. “Initiatives like this kind bring everyone together. We do it all at once and we get it done.”