Police Week at the Wolf Pack

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mya M. Crosby
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The faces of fallen Defenders stare back at the crowd in silence.

The audience is still. Some are staring off in remembrance. Others put their heads down in deep thought.

“Only 2.7 percent of the U.S. population are comprised of law enforcement officers, and only 0.4 percent of the population are in the armed forces,” said Tech. Sgt. Sylvia Cortez-Lomas, 8th Security Forces Squadron defender.

The 8th Security Forces Squadron hosted Police Week at the Wolf Pack, May 12-14. The Defenders hosted this celebratory week with the mentality to “honor the fallen and celebrate the living,” Cortez-Lomas said.

“National Police week is truly an important event of the year to not only appreciate what our men and women of law enforcement do, but also reflect and appreciate all the sacrifices that so many have made,” said Col. Chris “Wolf” Hammond, 8th Fighter Wing commander.

"It's important that we acknowledge our base defense, who often work in austere and contested environments, and as well to pay tribute to the 16 Defenders who have paid the ultimate price in defense of our nation and for our freedom. We honor and remember them today.”

The occasion caused reflection on why becoming not only a service member, but a defender, was so important.

“As a child I would watch my father leave the house in his uniform, and I was always in awe of his bravery,” said Tech. Sgt. Chadir Shivers, 8th Security Forces Squadron defender. “He would never tell me about this day, even when it was bad. He would come home and ask about mine. He is the reason I serve now. When I think of Police Week, I think of retired Lt. Lloyd George Shivers III, my father.”

For more than personal reasons, the Defenders have a purpose of endlessly watching over their brothers and sisters in arms.

“Defenders serve at bases all around the globe, standing watch over their communities, day and night," said Tech. Sgt. Sylvia Cortez-Lomas, 8th Security Forces Squadron defender.

"We stand on guard -- no matter who you are, we will protect you and your family, and keep you safe -- on convoys, on the flightline, we will stand our posts and do our duties because you are our brothers and sisters.

"Our best days are the days when nothing happens...and on those quiet days…you're welcome."

Below are the names of the Defenders who gave their lives to defend their brothers and sisters in arms, and the nation:

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson
Staff Sgt. Brian McElroy
Tech. Sgt. Jason Norton
Airman 1st Class Jerome Ware, Jr.
Airman 1st Class Leebernard Chavis
Staff Sgt. John Self
Airman 1st Class Jason Nathan
Staff Sgt. Travis Griffin
1st Lt. Joseph Helton
Senior Airman Nicholas Alden
Staff Sgt. Todd “T.J.” Lobraico
Senior Airman Nathan Sartain
Airman 1st Class Kcey Ruiz
Tech. Sgt. Joseph Lemm
Staff Sgt. Louis Bonasca
Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan