Staff Sgts. Aaron Wollenberg and John Zigler, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, paddle their boat "Angry Pirates" to victory July 14 during Junior Enlisted Appreciation Day at Lake Wateree. In addition to the two sergeants, the team was comprised of Senior Airman Curt Howard, 20th EMS, and Justin Zigler, borther of Sgt. Zigler. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tarsha Storey)
7/21/2006 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Cardboard boat races, a fishing tournament and children’s activities were just a few of the entertainment opportunities enjoyed by more than 2,000 Shaw members during Junior Enlisted Appreciation Day July 14 at the Wateree Recreation Area.
The day, hosted by Shaw’s Top Three Association, is a way for the senior enlisted members to show appreciation to the junior enlisted members. It’s also a way for the top three to thank the junior enlisted members’ families for allowing them to dedicate their time and hard work to help us accomplish the Air Force mission, said Master Sgt. Tammy Turnbull, 9th Air Force.
“Junior Enlisted Appreciation Day was fabulous and the food was great,” said Staff Sgt. Amy Harkins, 20th Operations Support Squadron.
During the event, there was a fishing tournament, volleyball games, food, a cardboard boat race, a children’s bouncy castle, face painting and several giveaways.
A total of 34 people competed in the day’s large-mouth bass fishing tournament, said Maj. John Nemecek, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. In first place was retired Tech. Sgt. Dave Murdock and Staff Sgt. Charles Zulauf, 79th Aircraft Maintenance Unit; second place went to Master Sgt. Steve Pizzino and Senior Airman Matt Forner, both of the 77th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, and third place went to Master Sgt. Thad Mozert and Senior Airman Matt Sonnek, both of the 55th Aircraft Maintenance Unit.
Sgt. Murdock and Sgt. Zulauf also won the first place big bass award with a four pound fish.
The cardboard boat race was won by Staff Sgt. Aaron Wollenberg, Staff Sgt. John Zigler, Senior Airman Curt Howard all of the 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron and Justin Zigler, Sgt. Zigler’s brother.
“The (cardboard) boat race was my favorite event. It was awesome! I can’t believe cardboard can stay afloat for that long while holding people!” said Senior Airman Christopher Lynch, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron.
Each year, the event gets bigger, said Master Sgt. Brian Davis, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron. The first year it was held, 2001, the Top Three members served food to 300 people. This year, they served 1,200 people.
This year, each member was required to have a $1 ticket to eat. The tickets served as a way for the top three to judge how many people planned to eat at the event. For planning purposes, each ticket represented three people, Sgt. Davis said.
Planning for next year’s Junior Enlisted Appreciation Day is now in progress. Members who would like to give feedback on the event can contact any top three member.