The Sun News

Departing Robins airman gets a unique send-off

Every year hundreds of airmen leave Robins to head for new assignments at other bases, but one got a special send-off last week.

The Houston County Commission gave Master Sgt. Mike Reid and his family a resolution declaring them lifelong honorary residents of Houston County.

The board got to know Reid after he came to a meeting a year earlier and led the Pledge of Allegiance. The board has a tradition of inviting a veteran, retired or active duty, to each meeting to lead the pledge and talk about their service.

Reid’s enthusiasm for his job so impressed the board members that they later arranged to go to the base and present him with a commemorative, framed photo from the meeting.

They also found out that he cared a lot about the community, and when he wasn’t working on base did such things as ring bells for the Salvation Army’s Christmas kettle drive.

Before presenting the resolution to Reid, Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker explained why Reid made an impression on them when he gave the pledge.

“A lot of people come and go at Robins, but I don’t think anyone is as energetic about their job as what you displayed on that given night,” Stalnaker said.

Reid has worked at the base for eight years on a unique team that travels the world to repair and recover damaged aircraft. He will be departing soon for an assignment at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. He lives in Perry, and he may have come up with a good marketing tool for the city. He said he calls it “Perrydise.”

“Whenever I retire, and in whatever corner of the world that may be,” the Alabama native said, “I am going to load up the truck and come back here.”

Col. Chris Hill, commander of the 78th Air Base Wing, came to the meeting to see Reid get the honor. Hill said Reid has added a lot of stripes to his rank in a short time.

“We are excited about your future and what you are going to do,” Hill told him.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.