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  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Brandon Boos
  • 179AW Public Affairs
On Saturday, June 7th, Major General Mark E. Bartman introduced the men and women of the 179th Airlift Wing to Mrs. Susan Bogan, Ohio's Survivor Outreach Services (SOS) Program Coordinator.
SOS is an Ohio Army National Guard program that provides long-term care and case management for the families of fallen warriors; regardless of how that death occurred or if it is related to military service. She was invited to speak to the 179th Airlift Wing because the concepts are as relevant to the Air Force as the Army. "We won't turn anyone away," she said.
According to Bogan, the military has come a long way from the days when the families were notified of a loss by telegram, but there is still work to be done. "You've all heard the phrase 'no man left behind.' Well, our job is to make sure that no family gets left behind," she said.
Bogan stressed that it is important for the families of the fallen to remain a part of the military family. "I will gush for years about my father's service in Vietnam, and I love talking about my husband's historic tour in Iraq," she said. "Military families are so proud of their service members and all that they have accomplished; it means a lot for them to be able to talk to people who can understand the importance and context of it all."
Through a partnership with Gold Star Family Association, the SOS program brings these families together for a variety of events aimed at building a community. "These events are often like family reunions in how people relate to one another. They need to tell their stories. They need to interact with other people in this community. They need to be able to cry if they need to cry. Sometimes it is fun. Sometimes it is not. It all helps." she said.
To conclude, Bartman called on the 179AW to look-out for their fellow Airmen and their families. "You've all got wingmen. Make sure that you're talking to each other about these things. It doesn't matter who you are or what your position is, we value you as an individual, and we value your family," Bartman said.
Bogan said that the SOS program representative for the Mansfield area is Sherry Vipperman. She can be contacted at 614-336-4138.