GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
For over 240 years America has been celebrating her independence from Britain. This year, San Angelo and Goodfellow members were able to celebrate at the Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage with the 31st Annual San Angelo Symphony Pops Concert, July 3.
“I was here as a Captain, and I left in 2002,” said Col. Robert Ramirez, 17th Training Wing vice commander. “It was an amazing show then, but this is even more amazing than I remember.”
Goodfellow service members participated in the concert with a performance by the base Color Guard, a presentation of the 50 state flags and a draping of the flag over Chadbourne Street bridge.
“It was so great to see everyone in San Angelo come out to support us,” said a member of the color guard, Airman 1st Class Aniniou Morkos, 316th Training Squadron trainee. “It was so patriotic and the sound of the canon they shot off was awesome.”
Having performed for more than 60 years, the San Angelo Symphony played a variety of songs including the ‘The Overture of 1812’ accompanied by cannon fire and the draping of the United States flag from Chadbourne Street bridge.
“The whole event was amazing,” said Col. Ricky Mills, 17th TRW commander. “I am very proud of the service members who were able to come out and help with the event, but without the support of the community we couldn’t do what we do. It is with their support that we are able to maximize the training we do.”
The concert wasn’t the only way to see fireworks and celebrate the holiday. On July 4, service members and their families were able to head out to the Goodfellow Recreation camp and enjoy food, games and music before picking the perfect spot on the lake to watch the fireworks lake at sundown.
“Back where I am from we celebrate the holidays a little different,” said Airman 1st Class Jason Booth, 315th Training Squadron trainee. “It isn’t as involved, seeing the whole town come together to support us, even shutting down roads so they could drape the flag off of the bridge, was amazing. Then we get to come out here and have even more fun, it is just awesome to see all of the support.”
San Angelo and Goodfellow have been intertwined since 1940, when the base was first established as the San Angelo Air Corp Basic Flying School. Since that time, there has never been a lack of support from either one.
“Just knowing how long we have had that support and that great relationship with the community is amazing,” said Mills. “It is amazing, sometimes I can’t believe how much support there is in this community.”