by Capt. Angela Walz
142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
10/19/2015 - PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. -- Airmen
deployed from the 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland Air National Guard Base,
Oregon, to the 123rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Campia Turzii,
Romania, raised more than $3,500 to provide backpacks filled with
clothing and toiletries for orphans who live near their deployed air
The smiles on the faces of the children who received the backpacks
offered a sense of mission accomplishment and justification to the
Airmen as they neared the end of their six-month deployment to the
"This was the best day I've had here," said Lt. Col. Sean Sullivan,
commander, 123rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. "Our troops from Oregon
really made a difference with a local Romanian orphanage."
Overall, the Airmen raised 14,000 lei (approximately $3,500 U.S.
dollars) to buy necessities for the children, and had the opportunity to
spend the day on two different occasions with them.
The initial visit to the orphanage was organized by personnel at
Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Airman 1st Class Devin Wulle, a 142 FW
F-15 Eagle crew chief, Staff Sgt. Tristan Janini, 142 FW electrical and
environmental specialist, and Master Sgt. Joanne Lorden, 142 Maintenance
Group training manager, are the Portland-based Guardsmen from the 142nd
Maintenance Group who were deployed to Campia Turzii and who planned a
second event on Sept. 19 to deliver the backpacks.
"The original goal was 10,000 lei," said Wulle. "We met that, and with
the additional money... we were able to go above and beyond and purchase
cold weather clothing. Our unit raised over 14,000 lei!"
In addition to clothing, each backpack also contained a toothbrush and
toothpaste, deodorant, body spray and wash, a loofa sponge, shampoo and
conditioner, a hair brush and even a candy bar for each child.
The ANG Airmen, along with regular Air Force Airmen from the 123rd
Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, served in various roles as part of a
Theater Security Package while forward deployed to Campia Turzii,
Romania, as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The combined unit is
known as the 159th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and includes a total
of 12 aircraft and approximately 200 Airmen. These were the first Air
National Guard units supporting the TSP mission in Europe, and the 142nd
Fighter Wing's first unit deployment to Europe.
"Whether at home or abroad, we're always ready, always there," said Lt.
Col. Sullivan. "The National Guard is always on mission."