WADS Airmen support Food Lifeline COVID Response Center
By Maj. Kimberly D. Burke, Western Air Defense Sector Public Affairs
/ Published May 03, 2020
The Washington National Guard has over 250 Army and Air National Guardsmen assisting the Food Lifeline COVID Response Center in Seattle by processing, packing, and distributing food and goods to more than 300 food banks across 17 counties in Washington state.
Three of the Airmen assisting at Food Lifeline are assigned to the Washington Air National Guard’s Western Air Defense Sector. They are boxing and distributing approximately 160,000 of food daily.
These Airmen’s military jobs normally entail supporting the 225th Air Defense Squadron’s mission of guarding America’s skies around the clock as part of the NORAD’s Operation Noble Eagle.
All three Airmen have served many years in the active duty Air Force prior to joining the WA ANG. Continuing their military service in the WA ANG allows them to carry out both a federal and state mission which offers them a unique opportunity to serve their local community as well as their country.
Staff Sgt. Constantine Bolo, a Spanaway resident, wants to do his part supporting the state food bank mission by directly helping the people in his community. Bolo spent 10 years serving as an active duty Air Force member and now works in the 225th ADS scheduling office and is awaiting training to become a tracking technician.
Staff Sgt. Matthew Bradley, a Port Orchard resident, also works with Bolo in the scheduling office and is awaiting training to become a tracking technician. Bradley has only been a member of the WA ANG for short time, after having served six years on active duty in the Air Force, but he couldn’t wait to volunteer to support the Washington Governor’s request for Guardsmen to support critical food banks by keeping them stocked and operational.
Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Jensen, an Olympia resident, works in the 225th ADS Standardization/Evaluation and is training to become a tracking technician. He also spent 10 years in the active duty Air Force prior to joining the WA ANG and he appreciates the ability to perform a state mission that directly assists the people in his community now that he has laid down permanent roots.
A total of more than 600 Guardsmen are assisting at more than 40 food banks across the state helping more than 1.7 million Washingtonians. As of April 30, over 7 million pounds of food has been sorted and over 867,000 meals have been packed. The WADS Airmen will continue to serve as long as they are needed because the National Guard is always ready, always there.