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DJs deploy to thank Airmen again

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Art Webb
  • 36th Operations Group Public Affairs
Two radio personalities from New Mexico deployed nearly 6,000 miles, bearing greetings, letters and gifts from families and friends in Clovis, N.M., to say "thanks again" to Airmen of the 522nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron deployed here from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.
The two disc jockeys, Steve Rooney and Duffy Moon, of the Rooney and Moon morning show, came to share the pride the families, the base, and the local community have expressed for the expeditionary warriors during their deployment here.
"Operation Thanks Again," is the third overseas deployment for the two personalities.
In March 2005, Mr. Rooney and Mr. Moon visited a Cannon squadron deployed to Misawa Air Base, Japan, for "Operation Clovis Cares," and in November 2006, they went to Balad Air Base, Iraq, for "Operation Thanks."
Each trip was an opportunity for the DJs to thank the Airmen for their continued service and help them to receive and send greetings home to their loved ones during a morning radio show broadcast live via Internet on 107.5 FM in Clovis.
"We just wanted to tell our Airmen thanks again," said Rooney regarding the visit. "We also brought some gifts from loved ones as well as a video disc compiled of greetings from their loved ones back home to show them how much they are loved, missed and appreciated."
The Tropicana is the deployed squadron's main hub for operations at Andersen and was the hot spot for the live broadcast. When they arrived, the DJs decorated its walls with banners, posters and cards from families, friends and organizations showing the tremendous support for the deployed warriors. Additionally they brought a "thank you trunk," filled with letters and goodies such as suntan lotion and candy that was free for the taking.
At times, Airmen packed the room to pick up items and sample some of the free gifts. Some took the opportunity to watch videos of family greetings. Laughter was heard when some of the children in the videos became curious about being on camera while expressing their love for their deployed parent.
One Airman received a traditional birthday gift from his wife, but in an untraditional manner. Staff Sgt. Michael J. Vaughn, 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, received a birthday cake from his wife Jessica.
"She couldn't bake a cake for me, so [she] sent the ingredients," said a smiling Sergeant Vaughn as he viewed his family's video. He then returned a heartfelt audio greeting to his family during the broadcast thanking them for his gifts, for the cake mix, and their support.
Conveying the emotions from the troops was an important aspect for the radio personalities.
"We wanted to see the look on their faces when they saw the video," Mr. Moon said. "We're taking their pictures and posting them to our website so all the folks back home can see the expressions on their faces. We're having a great time talking to everybody here and it's important for us to tell their stories to the folks back home."
During their three-day visit to Andersen, the two DJs toured the base talking to commanders and enlisted leaders regarding the deployment. They watched night flying operations and talked to maintenance and support personnel about the mission and the conditions of the deployment.
Lt. Col. Tod Fingal, 522nd EFS commander, said he was gratefully for the radio show hosts' support, Cannon AFB and the Clovis community.
"I want to send a huge thanks, not only to Rooney and Moon, but especially to the High Plains area," said Colonel Fingal. "This show, as well as the tremendous amount of support from the folks in Clovis, Portales, and in the outlying communities, has been a huge boost to morale, not only to us here, but also to our families back home."
"That is what Operation Thanks Again is all about," Mr. Moon said. It's a great to hear it's a success with the troops. It's also an opportunity for us to show our Airmen how proud we are of them."
"This is a big deal for us," Mr. Rooney added. "These guys are working hard and we wanted to thank all of them for what they are doing each day for us."

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