AbilityOne picnic recognizes employees

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing serve food to attendees at the 18th Annual AbilityOne Picnic at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 27, 2017.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing serve food to attendees at the 18th Annual AbilityOne Picnic at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 27, 2017. The picnic, hosted by the 20th Contracting Squadron, was held to show appreciation for the approximately 65 AbilityOne employees at Shaw. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

Anthony Green, Navy veteran and guest speaker, speaks to attendees at the 18th Annual AbilityOne Picnic at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 27, 2017.

Anthony Green, Navy veteran and guest speaker, speaks to attendees at the 18th Annual AbilityOne Picnic at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 27, 2017. Green shared his journey to find employment while struggling with mental health issues. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kathryn R.C. Reaves)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The 20th Contracting Squadron hosted the 18th Annual AbilityOne Picnic in Hangar 1200 at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Oct. 27.

The picnic was held for the approximately 65 AbilityOne employees at Shaw.

They are a tremendous force multiplier and impact the mission by allowing Airmen and Soldiers to focus on the task at hand, said Randy May, 20th CONS director of business operations. The picnic, which was the first of its kind when the tradition began, was one way the base was able to show the workers they are an important part of Team Shaw.

The employees, who have a range of visible and invisible disabilities, work at facilities across the base including the Chief Master Sgt. Emerson E. Williams Dining Facility, LCI store and the commissary.

“This is not a program about disability,” said Maj. Christopher Jones, 20th CONS commander. “It’s a program about ability. What do you bring to the fight? What capabilities do you bring to not only help a military mission as you do here, but across the federal government?”

During the event, attendees were provided lunch, employees were presented with awards and a guest speaker shared words.

“The sky is the limit, so don’t let anyone tell you ‘you can’t,’” said Anthony Green, Navy veteran and guest speaker, after sharing his journey to find employment while battling bipolar depression. “I’m here to tell you, ‘you can.’ If you apply yourself and open yourself, you could do what you want to do.

The AbilityOne employees are integral assets to the Air Force mission as they continue to make a difference at the base and in the community.

“You are a part of the team,” said May, directing his words to the employees. “If you weren’t working here, there would be a tremendous impact on (the base).”