Airmen Recognized During Hockey Game

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Robert Allen Cooke III, Airman 1st Class Jasmyne Bridgers-Matos
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Airmen were recognized for a Military Appreciation Night event at the Tucson Roadrunners hockey game in Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 4, 2023.

The Airmen’s involvement during the Military Appreciation Night event brought families and service members together to celebrate their accomplishments and shed light on challenges that Airmen overcame on a daily basis.

During the game, Staff Sgt. Cliantha Yasenchack, 355th Wing Command Post command and control operations specialist, was recognized as “Hero of the Game #1” on the stadium’s promotion deck for her achievements, including her actions against a bomb threat in Tucson, Ariz.

Yasenchak considered it an honor to be stationed at Davis-Monthan on active duty orders.

“Working here is a huge honor,” Yasenchack said. “I’m really happy to be working here.”

Senior Airman Greyson Landry, 355th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighter, was also recognized as “Hero of the Game #2’’ for his achievements, including national certifications he earned for his on-the-job training.

Through family ties, Landry found an appreciation for the sport of hockey and the Roadrunners team.

“My dad was born in Boston,” said Landry “And so he grew up playing a lot of hockey, and just growing up, we were always watching hockey with him. I went to some Roadrunners games with him, and ever since then, I fell in love with hockey.”

Staff Sgt. Dwayne Kennedy, 48th Rescue Squadron maritime pararescue specialist, was the guest of honor who dropped the ceremonious hockey puck, signifying the end of pregame festivities and the start of the game.

“This is an opportunity to connect with the community,” Kennedy said. “The community does not see the military a lot. I think it’s a good opportunity for each of us to show face.”

Bridging the gap between the wider community and the endeavors of service members around the world, military recruiters were stationed on the upper level of the hockey stadium during the game. Staff Sgt. Kiley Everett, 362nd Recruiting Squadron enlisted accessions recruiter, was one Air Force recruiter who offered information to those interested in joining the U.S. Air Force.

“We try to get involved with all of the major events out here,” Everett said. “Events, setting up booths, and just making the Air Force presence known to the people of Tucson.”

The evening not only celebrated the achievements of outstanding Airmen, but also demonstrated the support and appreciation of a community that recognizes their dedication and sacrifices.