MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. –The laughs of children fill the ears of spectators, the aroma of food from various food trucks consumes the air and tension builds as the crowd awaits not only the fireworks, but also the performance of the McConnell Air Force Base Honor Guard.
The fifth annual Red, White and Boom was held July 4, 2019 in Wichita, Kansas to celebrate Independence Day. The event also included a live band and one of Wichita’s biggest firework shows over the Arkansas River for the community to enjoy.
“You don’t realize how amazing and supportive the community around McConnell is until you participate in these events and you engage with people from all over Wichita,” said Airman 1st Class Travis Daugherty, 22nd Force Support Squadron honor guardsman.
Members of the Honor Guard showed up to the event an hour early to adjust to the stage configuration to ensure a perfect performance.
“No detail is the same,” said Daugherty. “When we get there we scope it out and customize [the routine] and make it work the best we can while still making sure that we are going through everything that we need to.”
Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Milton, 22nd Force Support Squadron base honor guard NCO in-charge, said it was a great honor to be able to represent the Air Force and the Base Honor Guard on such an important day.
“We go out and demonstrate that we have the discipline, the know-how and the skills to show that no matter what the event, we are ready to rise to the occasion,” said Milton.
McConnell’s Honor Guard trains five days a week, every week to prepare for all types of events including military retirements, change of command ceremonies and community events. These practices consist of presenting the colors and the folding of the flag.
“All of the color details I’ve done have been in front of a small amount of military personnel. This event, we were representing the Air Force to hundreds of civilian eyes watching us,” said Daugherty.
This was the third year McConnell’s Honor Guard had the opportunity to participate in Red White and Boom.
Milton said it is a privilege to be the symbol for McConnell to show the appreciation to past service members and our community by performing at these events.