News>910th honors Liberty girl at 50th Pilot for a Day program
Air Force Reserve Col. William Phillips, commander of the 910th Operation Group, administers the oath of office swearing in 11-year-old London Hairston of Liberty, Ohio as an honorary second lieutenant here August 31. London was selected by Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley to be honored as a pilot for a day. She is being treated for Leukemia. London was taxied aboard a C-130 Hercules aircraft and given a special tour of the installation. The 910th Airlift Wing pilot for a day program began in 2000 to help bring a ray of sunshine into the lives of children being treated for chronic or life threatening conditions. U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Brent J. Davis
Air Force Reserve Maj. Joe George, a C-130 pilot with the 910th Airlift Wing and London Hairston stop and pose before continuing a tour here August 31. London was selected by Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley to be honored as a pilot for a day. She is being treated for Leukemia. London was taxied aboard a C-130 Hercules aircraft and given a special tour of the installation. The 910th Airlift Wing pilot for a day program began in 2000 to help bring a ray of sunshine into the lives of children being treated for chronic or life threatening conditions. U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Brent J. Davis
9/4/2012 - YOUNGSTOWN AIR RESERVE STATION, Ohio -- Youngstown Air Reserve Station rolled out the red carpet August 31 for a young lady from Liberty battling leukemia during the 910th Airlift Wing's 50th Pilot for a Day program.
London Hairston, 11, was sworn in as an honorary second lieutenant after the 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs office contacted Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley to find out who would be a good fit for the outreach program that began in June 2000.
"She's the right age where she'd be interested and be able to ask questions," said London's nurse, Katie Fabis.
London has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia since February 2010. She's been in remission for a year and a half, her father, Edward, said.
According to Edward, his daughter has endured one round of radiation treatments, and the rest has been all chemotherapy. Her last treatment was in June.
London's day began when she, her family and nurse were escorted onto the base by Maj. Brent Davis, chief of public affairs and HUMVEE chauffeur Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Joe Zufelt, and brought to the Community Activities Center.
There she was given a pilot's uniform, complete with a personalized embroidered nametag, a 757th Airlift Squadron ascot and personalized dog tags.
Operations Group Commander Col. William Phillips swore London in as a junior officer; Col. Phillips London's mother, Bernadette, pinned the 2nd Lt. officer rank insignia on her flight suit.
Representing Youngstown Air Reserve Base Community Council (YARBCC), Col. (honorary) Fred Kubli, Jr. gave London a C-130H Hercules aircraft model with her name printed above the crew door, replicating an aircraft crew chief's name and title. London also received a teddy bear in an Air Force uniform that she named Timmy. YARBCC has funded the Pilot for a Day program for more than four years.
Next, the group escorted London to the operations group command center, where she walked among the air crew members and toured the facility.
From there, it was a short ride down the tarmac to a Youngstown C-130 Hercules aircraft that like London's model featured her name and honorary rank stenciled above the door.
The flightcrew taxied the aircraft down the tarmac and gave London a high-speed taxi down the runway.
Afterward, London poked her head out of the emergency crew exit atop the aircraft and waved for a few photos.
London rode from the tarmac to the Marine Corps section of the Navy Operational Support Center where she was allowed to fire training weapons hooked up to CO2 tanks that simulate the feel firing live ammunition.
"We're just trying to give these kids a ray of sunshine, with all the appointments and treatments they have to go through," said Davis. "We just want them to have an enjoyable day away from their problems."