By Maj. Matthew Mutti, 104 FW Executive Staff Officer, 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published September 09, 2012
Barnes Air National Guard Base, 104 Fighter Wing - Westfield, Mass -- Guard Care has become a BarneStormer tradition. This year marks the 17th year since its inception in 1995. To put it into perspective, children that received pre-school physicals during the first year of Guard Care, are old enough to enlist here at the base. By the numbers, we have provided more than 2,800 back to school physicals since 1995.
In conjunction with grants to the Community Action Parent Child Development Centers (formerly HeadStart); the members of the 104th Fighter Wing's Medical Group and Wing volunteers provide, hearing, vision, dental and basic health screening to local area children in preparation for the beginning of their school year.
"This year we saw approximately 160 students," said Senior Airman Charles Diaz, the event coordinator. "The entire wing supports this program because it's our chance to give back to the community."
Airman Diaz has been coordinating Guard Care for four years, and has seen more than 600 children walk through the clinic's hallways.
"We love to see the children come to the base," he said. "This is the first time many of the children have been on a military base and we want them to have a great experience."
In addition to the physicals, the children also learn about nutrition and safety. At the end of the physical, they can meet the base's fire fighters and tour on of the bases fire trucks.