Other Events and Recognition

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  • Congressman Westmoreland’s congressional speech recognizing Captain Whitlock.  This speech was given March 21, 2012.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2012-03-21/html/CREC-2012-03-21-pt1-PgH1432-2.htm
  • Funeral Service at Arlington National Cemetery.  On September 20, 2012 there was a funeral service honoring the 4 fallen members of the accident in Djibouti, Africa.  The service took place on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.  The grave will be marked with the 4 names for whom it holds: Captain Nicholas Schade Whitlock from the 34th Special Operations Squadron, Capt Ryan P. Hall from the 319th Special Operations Squadron, 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens from the 34th Special Operations Squadron and Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten from the 25th Intelligence Squadron
  • CrossFit  National Competition.  CrossFit Gulf Breeze, is hosting a national competition September 29-30, 2012 on Pensacola Beach.  The event is part of the national Garage Games Series, a CrossFit competition circuit.  Traditionally at these events the final workout is  known as a “Hero Workout”.  This event is designed to recognize local military members who have lost their lives in service to our country, and this year the “Hero Workout” has been named “RATCHET 33″.  Ratchet 33 was the call sign of the plane flown by the 4 fallen airmen.  The actual rep scheme of the workout was set up to honor the ages four fallen members.  Justin J. Wilkens, 26, Julian S. Scholten, 26, Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29, Ryan P. Hall, 30.  The workout included: 10 muscle up buy in, then: 26 KB Snatch, 2 Pood/1.5 Pood 26 Wallballs, 20/14 29 Toes thru Rings 30 Clean and Jerks, 135/95.
  • Newnan-Coweta County Airport Renaming.  The Newnan-Coweta County Airport was officially renamed on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 in honor of Nick.  The airfield is now officially known as Newnan-Coweta County Airport, Whitlock Field.  Coweta County Board of Commissioners Chairman Rodney Brooks remarked that the name change “is a small effort not only to recognize the ultimate sacrifice made by Captain Whitlock and his family but also to recognize all those who learned to fly here and died too young”.  New signage will be erected to reflect the name change and a plaque honoring Nick will be placed at the entrance to the airport’s terminal facility.  http://www.times-herald.com/Local/20121018-whitlock-added-to-airport-name-MOS
  • Hunter 87 Bluegrass Bash.  The Hunter 87 Bluegrass Bash took place Saturday, November 10, 2012 in Newnan, Ga.  The event was created to raise enough money to offer the scholarship to  Newnan High School Senior in May of 2013 and establish the first hunting trip designed for Purple Heart recipients.  With an extensive silent auction, almost 350 attendees to the event, and generous corporate sponsorship  the event was able to raise almost $25,000, well exceeding all expectations.  The tremendous success of the event gives hope that the Hunter 87 Bluegrass Bash will become an annual event in Newnan, Ga.  To view the article written by the Newnan Times-Herald, please click the following link: http://www.times-herald.com/Local/20121114WhitlockFoundationFundraiser-MOS
  • Wreaths Across America.  Wreaths across America is an annual event at Arlington National Cemetery where volunteers place Holiday wreaths at the grave markers of our fallen heroes within the cemetery.  This year a wreath was placed at the grave of Nick and his three fallen comrades by the Arlington Chapter Gold Star Wives.  For more information, visit the Arlington National Cemetery page or visit the official page of Wreaths Across America.
  • Air Commando Ruck March.  On February 3, 2013, sixteen Air Commandos and friends began a seven day journey in which they rucked 450 miles from Hurlburt Field, FL to MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL.  Additionally, two more commandos began their ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.  Both the march and climb were orchestrated to  raise $50,000 for The Special Operations Warrior Foundation and to honor the five Air Commandos that fell in the line of duty in 2012, including Nick and the crew of Ratchet 33.
  • 1 Year Anniversary Memorial Service. On February 18, 2013, a memorial service will be held at Hurlburt Airforce Base.  A moment of silence was observed at the exact time the plane went down to honor the lives of the members of Ratchett 33 as well as every member of our military that has laid their life down for our country.
  • Arlington National Cemetery Tree Planting.  The members of the 34 ESOS-A Aircrew donated a tree to be planted in the Arlington National Cemetery in honor of the 1 year anniversary of the loss of Ratchett 33.  The Arlington National Cemetery honored this donation and created the Guided Horticulture Tour and Tree Planting event.  This event took place on April 26, 2013.  The event began with an educational horticulture tour of the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.  After the tour, the attendees were invited to join the family and friends in the planting of the Kwanzan cherry tree.  The tree was planted on the east side of the gravesite of the four fallen airmen.  The tree and gravesite are located in Section 60, gravesite 10124.  Please click on the following link to access an article written by the Staff Reporter for the Pentagon regarding the event.  http://www.dvidshub.net/news/106419/anc-tree-planting-remembers-flyers-killed-action#.UZD0L7WyBP8
  • FTVA Memorial Service.  On June 20, 2013 the Freedom Through Vigilance Association (FTVA) is conducting a memorial service for the members of Ratchet 33. The FTVA is an alumni association of the AF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Agency, San Antonio, Tx. From their roots during WWII as the Air Force Security Service, their mission is to preserve the heritage of ISR professionals and contributions made to our nation.  The memorial service is to take place in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy. It will be a part of the Big Safari Reunion for the FTVA.