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Keesler achieves Pride Day goals throughout base

Staff Sgt. Jesus Gutierrez, left foreground, and Master Sgt. Brad Belford drill a hole for the installation of a grill in the courtyard of permanent party dormitories 4813 and 4815.  In the background, Master Sgt. Gunny McCune, left, and Staff Sgt. Bryan Carnwell mix concrete for the grill post.   All four men are assigned to the 81st Civil Engineer Squadron.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Staff Sgt. Jesus Gutierrez, left foreground, and Master Sgt. Brad Belford drill a hole for the installation of a grill in the courtyard of permanent party dormitories 4813 and 4815. In the background, Master Sgt. Gunny McCune, left, and Staff Sgt. Bryan Carnwell mix concrete for the grill post. All four men are assigned to the 81st Civil Engineer Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Karen Ray  sponge paints a cloud on a wall outside the command section of Garrard Hall.  She’s the spouse of Lt. Col. Stephen Ray, 81st Training Group deputy commander.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Karen Ray sponge paints a cloud on a wall outside the command section of Garrard Hall. She’s the spouse of Lt. Col. Stephen Ray, 81st Training Group deputy commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Margo Valenzuela is assisted in making plant selections at the self-help store by Airman 1st Class Jose Arias, 332nd Training Squadron.  She’s the spouse of Lt. Col. Paul Valenzuela, 81st Mission Support Squadron commander.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Margo Valenzuela is assisted in making plant selections at the self-help store by Airman 1st Class Jose Arias, 332nd Training Squadron. She’s the spouse of Lt. Col. Paul Valenzuela, 81st Mission Support Squadron commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

From left, Airmen 1st Class Brandon Haigood, 81st Medical Operations Squadron, and Rhianna Rasheed and Sherenda Favshaugh, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron, lay sod in the child development center courtyard and playground during Keesler Pride Day Friday.  The Airmen are currently assigned to the honor guard.  (U.S. Air Force photo by kemberly Groue)

From left, Airmen 1st Class Brandon Haigood, 81st Medical Operations Squadron, and Rhianna Rasheed and Sherenda Favshaugh, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron, lay sod in the child development center courtyard and playground during Keesler Pride Day Friday. The Airmen are currently assigned to the honor guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Keesler Pride Day held May 11 provided facility managers and residents opportunities to clean up and finish projects throughout the base. 

"The 81st Civil Engineer Squadron is working hard to clean up our base and manage the grounds consistent with command standards," said Col. Rodney Croslen, 81st Mission Support Group commander. "However, pride of ownership is everyone's responsibility." 

The day had two goals: 

Promote pride of ownership in the workplace. 

Promote military family housing self-help projects. 

"I think we made a step in the right direction," said Lt. Col. Jeff Szatanek, 81st CES operations flight commander. "The day was an opportunity to take pride where we work and live, and we welcome the opportunity to show that pride." 

Both goals were accomplished, according to Colonel Szatanek.
Pride of ownership projects included landscaping at the child development center, Cody Hall and 81st CES. 

The child development center project provides a grassy playground for the 325 children who use the facility. Sod donated by the civil engineers was laid around playground equipment by 75 volunteers Friday. More landscaping and fertilization are required to complete the project. 

"Once the project is finished and the children are allowed on new grass, they'll have a safer and more enjoyable area," said Ms. Maria Ochoa, the center director. 

Currently, the children use the playground at the youth center. 

"It will be great for the children to have their own area," said Ms. Ochoa. "There's nothing like playing on your own playground." 

Initially estimated to cost $27,000, the sod was provided and placed "for considerably less," according to Colonel Szatanek. 

Other quality-of-life projects included installing and painting of the Air Force emblem inside the Levitow Training Support Facility and Garrard Hall and placing outdoor grills in the courtyards of some permanent party dormitories. 

Base housing residents were able to obtain free impatiens, margarita, salvia, celosia, vinca and begonia plants for beautification projects from the self-help store. 

More than 300 plants were picked up at the store by housing area residents May 11, according to Charles Moore, 81st CES chief of material acquisitions. 

Facility managers had access to grass seed, mulch, peat moss and landscape stones at the store in Building 4039 at the corner of Z Street and Ploesti Drive. 

Trash bags, landscaping tools and materials, pressure washers and other items are also available at the facility. 

Colonel Szatanek encouraged residents and units to extend their efforts beyond Pride Day. 

"There's other work that needs to be followed up on," he said.
"We'd also like people to practice policing their areas as outlined in the hurricane cleanup plan."