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133rd Airlift Wing Celebrates the Importance of Family

Employees of Fat Lorenzo’s, serve their signature Italian dishes at the annual Family Day event in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013.  Fat Lorenzo’s has been serving their meals at Family Day for the last couple of years, as a way to say thank you to the Airmen.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kennith Veillon/Released)

Employees of Fat Lorenzo’s, serve their signature Italian dishes at the annual Family Day event in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Fat Lorenzo’s has been serving their meals at Family Day for the last couple of years, as a way to say thank you to the Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kennith Veillon/Released)

Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and their families take part in Family Day actives in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kennith Veillon/Released)

Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and their families take part in Family Day actives in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kennith Veillon/Released)

Children of Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing ride a hovercraft, one of many different activities offered during Family Day in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

Children of Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing ride a hovercraft, one of many different activities offered during Family Day in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

Staff Sgt. Sanel Velic, 133rd Communication Flight, spends the day with his daughter, Mira, at the annual Family Day event in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013.  Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

Staff Sgt. Sanel Velic, 133rd Communication Flight, spends the day with his daughter, Mira, at the annual Family Day event in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and their families take part in Family Day actives in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and their families take part in Family Day actives in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and their families listen to the opening ceremony of Family Day in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013.  Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and their families listen to the opening ceremony of Family Day in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

Brig. Gen. Robert Cayton, Chief of Staff for Air, Joint Force Headquarters, Minnesota National Guard, left, presents the Outstanding Unit Award to Brig. Gen. Greg Haase, Commander of the 133rd Airlift Wing in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013.

(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kari Giles/ Released)

Brig. Gen. Robert Cayton, Chief of Staff for Air, Joint Force Headquarters, Minnesota National Guard, left, presents the Outstanding Unit Award to Brig. Gen. Greg Haase, Commander of the 133rd Airlift Wing in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kari Giles/ Released)

Senior Master Sgt. Kristin Von Eschen, 133rd Airlift Wing, spends the day with her son Luke, left, and daughter Lauren, right, at the annual Family Day event in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013.   Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

Senior Master Sgt. Kristin Von Eschen, 133rd Airlift Wing, spends the day with her son Luke, left, and daughter Lauren, right, at the annual Family Day event in St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 17, 2013. Family Day is an annual event that recognizes the families and thanks them for their support to the Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Amy M. Lovgren/Released)

St. Paul, Minn.- -- Airmen and their families gathered together to join in on the excitement as the 133rd Airlift Wing held its Annual Family Day event, Aug. 18, 2013.

The event recognizes families' sacrifices and their importance to the wing. The festivities started with a Family Day 5K run.

The event was officially kicked off in the north hanger by Brig. Gen. Robert Cayton, chief of staff for air, Joint Force Headquarters, Minnesota National Guard, as he recognized the wing for its outstanding achievements over the past year. Cayton then presented the 133rd AW with the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is awarded to units of the U.S. Air Force which perform exceptionally meritorious service, accomplishes specific acts of outstanding achievement and excels in combat operations. Another factor that makes this such a prestigious award is that it is only given to the top 10 percent of Air Force units.

"The distinctive accomplishments of the members of the 133rd AW reflect great credit upon themselves, the Minnesota Air National Guard and the United States Air Force," 2nd Lt. Joseph Girtz, 210th Engineering Installation Squadron, the master of ceremonies for today's event, quoted from the citation.

Airmen and families had many different activities to choose from. Children participated in a rock climbing wall, carnival games and archery. There were also hay rides, hovercraft rides, a home run derby, classic car show, fire truck displays and C-130 tours amongst several other attractions.

"The best part of Family Day was walking around and seeing all my coworkers with their families and children," said Master Sgt. Kris Melton, the knowledge operations functional manager, 133rd Communications Flight. "We see each other every day, but being able to socialize and visit with them is what makes Family Day what it is."

From the Fat Lorenzo's lunch to the near perfect weather; it seemed easy for families to enjoy the day. As the day winded down the happy faces explained it all, Family Day was a success.

"We were delighted at the outcome. Family Day is our way of showing the families of our Airmen we appreciate the support and scarifies they make," said Col. Jim Johnson, commander of the 133rd Airlift Wing.