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Airmen provide medical care in the Ohio State Special Olympics

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Stephen S. Powell
  • 179th Airlift Wing
     In June 2008, fifty (50) Ohio National Guard Airmen joined their civilian counterpart's in encompassing the Ohio State Campus and other locations around Columbus. The joint efforts of the doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and first aid providers were focused on providing medical care to the Olympians during the Ohio State Special Olympics. Their combined goal was to assist the Special Olympians and their families in order for them to have successful, safe, and constructive athletic events.
The 179th Medical Group and 179th Airlift Wing, located in Mansfield, Ohio, lead this venture as they have for the past 35 years. They were joined for this special event by the 88th Medical Group (Dayton), 121st Air Refueling Wing (Columbus), 180th Fighter Wing (Toledo), 178th Airlift Wing (Springfield), 445th AMDS (Wright Patterson AFB), and numerous civilian agencies.
     The 179th Medical Group personnel; Lt. Col. Kathy McGowan, Capt. Amy Magnuson, Master Sgt. Tom Koehler, and Staff Sgt. Dane Francis, performed the four man Flag detail at the opening ceremonies. These Airmen provided an exemplary performance, honoring the Ohio Air National Guard and the Special Olympians.
     The medical staff remained readily available to assist over 3000 Olympians and their families. When an individual became injured the staff communicated and provided all necessary assistance. Luckily, there was not a great need for treatment of serious injuries. The staff provided care to 62 injured Olympians and transported 4 patients to the Ohio State Hospital.
     The Airmen that participate in the Special Olympics keep returning. This event allows them to give back to the community and show their pride in the uniform they wear. They continued to show the Core Values of Excellence, Integrity, and Service with every hug they gave and each injury that was mended.