Gold Star KC-46 flight

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Willis
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

McConnell has teamed with up the local Gold Star families to provide an opportunity to fly in a KC-46A Pegasus Sept. 30th, 2021, and observe a refueling operation.


The event took place not only to honor the families but to remind them that, despite their lives being changed forever, they are not alone and their sacrifices and loved ones will never be forgotten.


The title Gold Star, which is reserved for families of military members who have died in the line of duty, is meant to honor the service member’s ultimate sacrifice while acknowledging their family’s loss.


“Over the past three years, Team McConnell has reached out to our gold star families to maintain relationships and show our continued support for them,” said Jeff Gaines, Airman and Family Readiness Center casualty assistance representative.


The Gold Star families are taken care of and integrated across Team McConnell to increase morale and strengthen ties in the community.


“Our Gold Star Families and Air Force Families Forever are a very special part of this relationship. So much so that we consider them part of our own families,” said Lt. Col Joshua Moores, 344th Air Refueling Squadron commander. “The 344th ARS has traditionally maintained an incredible connection with our local Gold Star Families, we are together. They have been by our side since the delivery of America’s first KC-46.”


Gold Star families have participated in the events held on and off base and partake in family events outside of work. From parades to barbeques and squadron events, Team McConnell brought the Gold Star families on base for a first-time flight in the KC-46.


“We got the Gold Star families on this flight because we wanted to honor them,” said Maj. Jared Wagner, 344th Air Refueling Squadron assistant director of operations. “It was a lot of work but nothing in comparison to what the families have gone through, it was 100 percent worth it.”