By American300 Public Affairs Office
F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Cheyenne Wyoming- Traditional Cowboy Champion’s Belt Buckles... they’re huge... and out ‘shine’ their second place ‘reserve champion’ cousins. Over the past 115 years there have been thousands of Cowboy Championship Buckles awarded here in Cheyenne.
During this years largest outdoor rodeo in America, 4 PRCA Cowboys who compete in Bareback put their boots where their mouths are. They teamed up with nonprofit American300 which specializes in troop mentoring and they went out looking for Airmen.
“We wanted to put our Justin Boots where our mouths are, not just talk about supporting troops but, go out and really show them how much we appreciate them” said Tilden Hooper.
World Champion Kaycee Feild, Jesse Davis and Joe Gunderson echoed his sentiments, the foursome went where the sun doesn’t shine... “everyone knows we travel with Kaycee Feild, who has put his Justin Boots in middle east combat zones over the past three memorial days... it was our turn to join him.”
For cowboys to spend time around troops in Cheyenne requires nothing more then going to the Frontier Days, over 2 thousand F.E. Warren Airmen support the event as volunteers. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from going to the middle east with American300, it’s that the organization likes to go where the sun doesn’t shine.” The term is used by the nonprofits founder Robi Powers, to describe locations around the world where our troops service goes unnoticed. “ I just want to thank General (LtG) Kowalski and Colonel Coffelt for allowing us to drop in on some of their behind the scenes Airmen, thank them for their service.” said Feild.
It doesn’t get more behind the scenes and ‘sun don’t shine’ then Fox One, one of four hundred and fifty missile alert facilities that have been in service since the 1950’s. The site in Dix, Nebraska is manned by an undisclosed number of Air Force personnel including two Missileers.
Yes their are Airmen called Missileer’s...
A Missileer is trained to execute the orders of the President of the United States at a moments notice. Something that has been true every second of every day for over sixty years.
Dix, Nebraska, not exactly a quick grip and grin ‘thank you for your service’ tour of F.E. Warren AFB... which is located right next to the CFD arena.
Joe Gunderson and Jessy Davis were ready and waiting When Captain’s Besse, Dobbins and Cerwinski arrived at lodging along with Lieutenants Dalrymple and Gonsolin and lead driver A1C Matthew DeMitchell. “Last night I was thinking about who I’d be meeting, what I’d be seeing and it jacked me up... it felt like the night before the first 'perf' of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.”
The Cowboys weren’t alone. American300 had named the visit ‘Behind the Chute’, the result of finding three time purple heart recipient John Bates, who served as a Marine from Vietnam in the 60’s through Iraq in the 2005 and retired as a Colonel. Bates, now donates his time as an ambassador and volunteer professional skydiver... representing the Marines Wounded Warrior Regiment at everything from Rodeos to NASCAR events.
“These Airmen are the true champions... they deserve champions belt buckles” said Jessy Davis to Major Jason McCree. The Major was on tour as Air Force Global Strike Command’s programming liaison between American300 guests and Airmen around the country, as the nonprofit provides mentors on a monthly basis to the command “There’s no reserve champion buckles handed out in the business of nuclear deterrence.” pointed out the Major.
With an early afternoon ‘go round’ start time, the Cowboys and Colonel got down to the business of meeting and sharing with the Airmen of Fox One Missile Alert Facility. “I wish we could stay longer, but we’ve gotta a couple hours worth of driving and we’ve got to get these cowboys back to the CFD for their 8 second rides that are coming up in three hours.” said Robi Powers, founder of American300‘s Never Quit Series to the Airmen above ground.
Over sixty feet under ground Lieutenant Brandon Seale offered up a final handshake with his on duty flight commander Lieutenant Austin Winner shouting out to the Cowboys and Colonel: ‘Good luck guys and thanks for coming out... and down.’ Moments later the Cowboys and Colonel were headed top side. The huge blast door being pulled shut, locking the two Missileer’s into the launch capsule.
Early up and hours of driving to a remote missile launch site... not exactly a normal morning for Cheyenne Frontier Days Cowboys. Not exactly what you think of when you think of United States Air Force, but exactly the type of troops that American300 volunteers love to connect with.
Maybe there’s a new tradition under hoof in Cheyenne, Wyoming...
Never Stop Being Great: Air Force Global Strike Command... Never Quit!
For more information on American300’s Never Quit Series please visit: www.American300.org Media contact: Rob Powers - email@example.com Mobile: 970-846-8772
To learn more about our United States Air Force’s Air Force Global Strike Command go to: www.afgsc.af.mil
American300 is a 501c3 all volunteer nonprofit with a mission of increasing strength and resiliency of our Armed Forces Members and their Families in the areas that they live and operate in. No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is intended. American300.org
American300 would like to salute all of our troops and family members serving and living around the world. Special thanks go out to the security team that ensured the Cowboys and Colonel could go ‘where the sun don’t shine’... FSC SrA Travis Richardson, NMI SSgt Christian Cabague, A1C Zachary Boram, SrA Bryan Gill, A1C Bretlyn Sonnier, A1C Travis Fink all members of the “Mighty Ninety” - 320th Missile Squadron - 90th Missile Wing - Air Force Global Strike Command - Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. We’d also like to thank Captain Derrick Besse, our FEW POC, 1LT Clark Dalrymple, 2LT Matt Gonsolin, A1C Patrick McLaughlin our primary drivers, Fox One’s Facility Manager TSgt George Alvarado and his right hand Airmen Missile Chef A1C Matthew DeMitchell, the breakfast and visit was amazing! Captain’s Dobbins and Cerwinski who assisted with the transit convoy. Last but certainly not least, our two Missileers 1LT Austin Winner and 2LT Brandon Seale. To the Commanders... you’ve got some amazing people serving our country! We'd also like to thank our nonprofit friends at Wrangler, Justin Boots and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association who we work closely with year-round.