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A Family in Arms A mother who lost her son, but gained a family

A smiling red-haired woman wearing jogging apparel visited Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, April 12, 2019, specifically, to visit the family she gained after the passing of her son six years ago.

Cathy Powers lost her son, Senior Airman Bryce Powers, in Japan in 2013. Her son was an AMMO troop, or munitions systems specialist, in the Air Force. While he was in a coma, it was the AMMO community that reached out and assisted Powers and her husband, who was also an AMMO troop when he served. Upon Bryce's death, it was the AMMO family who performed the pallbearer detail at his funeral.

Since then, Powers has found comfort and fulfillment running across America, visiting different AMMO communities in different states. Her personal goal is 1,000 miles and is a representative of Wreaths Across America.

Visiting Sheppard is a bit special for her as it is the sixth anniversary of her son's death. Also, Sheppard is home to the 363rd Training Squadron, which trains the munitions systems apprentices. This is where her son started his career.

The 363rd TRS welcomed Cathy to their training schoolhouse, where she shared her story with the next generation of AMMO troops and was joined by instructors and students to add a bit more mileage towards her goal of 1,000 miles.

The Air Force usually calls those who stand together Wingmen, but behind the formality it means brother, sister, family - and we take care of our own. At the end of her two-day visit, Cathy was named the honorary matriarch of the 363rd TRS and then - she was on her way to the next base.

Created By
Pedro Tenorio
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