By Dave Smith
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado — To call into remembrance the ultimate sacrifice paid by the nation’s peace officers, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation in 1962 designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The week the day falls in is designated Police Week.
This year May 11-15 was Police Week, and the 21st Security Forces Squadron held and participated in a number of events to honor those who choose law enforcement as their career field, both military and civilian.
In addition to honoring fallen comrades, the day and week is an opportunity to provide awareness about the challenges faced in the law enforcement field, said Master Sgt. John Hill, 21st SFS.
“It’s a good opportunity for us all to come together for a good cause,” said Master Sgt. George Lanstrum, 21st SFS supervisor of standard evaluation and training. “It gives us a chance to take a moment to remember fallen officers.”
Events held on base included a 12-hour vigil ceremony at the flag pole display in front of the wing headquarters building May 12; the 21st SFS Shoot House Challenge, a K9 demonstration and weapons display May 14; and a law enforcement memorial ceremony at Memorial Park, in conjunction with the national ceremony in Washington, D.C., May 15.
The shoot house challenge was a way to participate in activities often carried out in the law enforcement field and, at the same time, raise funds for the Pikes Peak Region Peace Officers’ Memorial. All proceeds from entry fees for the challenge and a barbecue lunch will go to the memorial fund, Hill said. The event raised about $550 for the fund.
The challenge gathered a number of teams and spectators to cheer on competitors. Two-person teams took on a series of challenges including a tire flip, close quarters breaching, physical training, dummy drag, red man aggressive person control, and three shooting challenges — Virtra simulator, Hogan’s Alley and beam hit. The combined total of each team member was calculated to determine awards.
The challenge was dominated by two teams, Staff Sgts. Jared Rosier and Adam Ross from the 21st SFS; and Staff Sgt. Eric Leyva, 50th Space Communications Squadron at Schriever AFB and Tech. Sgt. Timothy Tichawa, Advanced Space Operations School, Peterson AFB. Tichawa and Leyva won the Virtra and breaching challenges, but that was not enough to carry the day as Rosier and Ross won the tire flip and PT challenges to claim the overall victory.
During the awards ceremony, Lt. Col. Nicole Roberts, 21st Security Force Squadron commander, expressed her gratitude to those who serve in law enforcement.
“Thanks for putting on the badge every day,” she said. “It’s an amazing day to commemorate our career field.”
Col. Reginald Ash, 21st Mission Support Group commander, also expressed his respect for the career field, saying he sleeps better at night knowing they were out there protecting all of us.