Appointments are something that Tom Whittaker has had to keep his entire life... there was a time in his 20's when they would most likely take the form of meetings in the predawn darkness at a climbing trail head... In his mid 30's his schedule would find him hobbling into his car to make a journey to a hospital for a follow up appointment on how his broken body was recovering from a head on encounter with a drunk driver... or in his 40's and 50's... an early morning wake up during the months of April and May might mean that he was once again on the steeps of Mount Everest... getting ready to throw down 10+ hour day of climbing, acclimatizing... pre summit push preparedness training... or... going for the summit itself!
For the next year, Tom Whittaker has made a commitment to keep an 'Arms On' appointment with Air Force Global Strike Command's Never Quit Series. "... I accepted Robi's (Powers) challenge to stay totally involved with this project and American300, while I won't be visiting the bases every month I will be monitoring the feedback and working with him and command leadership to ensure that the program evolves." said Whittaker to a group of senior non-commissioned officers over lunch here today at the historic air base which was once home to the famed Sedalla Gliders used during World War II.
"We are going to be showcasing some of America's greatest 'walking, breathing...living' examples of strength, resolve... resiliency, over the year to come and having Tom Whittaker at our side, whether on a tour or monitoring from a far has added a huge player to our team." says Powers, the ex-infantrymen who created American300 Warrior Tours with the simple goal of increasing the strength (resiliency) of our armed forces members back in 2008. "...like Tom's life story after the car crash, we are going to adapt our guests and style of visits as this program rolls out, just like Tom, whose first goals included standing up and walking... to years later standing on top of the world's highest mountain... we're going to be adaptive and working with individuals who truly understand what it means to adapt!" he added.
From the flight line to dinning facilities, maintenance shops to working dog kennel's, Whittaker's first visit to Whiteman AFB was a nonstop whirlwind of squadron's and stories. "We started the day off meeting one of our countries greatest heroes... Eddie, one of our service dogs, who so sadly has been diagnosed with cancer after years ofservice to our country both here at Whiteman and over in the middle east." said Powers " Meeting Tom and hearing his life story probably didn't do all the much to comfort Eddie, but I know his handlers and the Kennel Master had great 'take aways' from Tom's visit... we're only going to be able to do so much, connect with so many... what's certain is that we're going to be a part of a push for excellence.
With a 18 hour day behind him... it was time for Tom Whittaker's next appointment... Barksdale Air Force Base and thousands of new faces, handshakes and friendships. Stay with us as the tour continues...
USAF and DoD Personnel...
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For photos from today we have TWO sites:
To reachout to Tom Whittaker please visit his website: www.tomwhittaker.com
To reachout or connect with Robi Powers, please hit the contact button at American300.org
The Never Quit Series is a partnership between Air Force Global Strike Command and American300. All American300 guests are pure volunteers, individuals who have gladly donated their time and effort to be with our airmen.