Best wishes to our departing chaplains

  • Published
  • By Col Mike Callan
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Team Vance -- we are blessed in so many ways!
My family and I had the pleasure of attending the Vance Air Force Base Volunteer dinner Sunday night at the Ramada Inn (hosted by our chapel staff) and what a great event to say "thanks" to the many volunteers that make Vance AFB a very special place to serve our nation.
In addition to the great food and fellowship, we were treated to a small stage show that had a little bit of everything to entertain the masses (magic, puppets and yes, the ever popular audience participation). We also had a chance to say thanks to Chaplain Lance Hoggatt and his family for their incredible contributions while being here at Vance AFB. As their 3-year tour comes to a close and they optimistically look forward to their next military adventure in the D.C. region, I speak for the entire Team when I say we wish them the "absolute very best" in their upcoming change of assignment and know success and love will follow them. Their departure will leave a small hole in our hearts, but the joy and humor that Lance and the entire family has brought to all of us will never be forgotten. I especially will miss trying to sing beside such a vocal legend in the Protestant choir!
As Chaplain Samuel Bridges prepares to support our air expeditionary forces during AEF 10, we are reminded that our wing chaplain (Father Raul Sanchez) is preparing to PCS in July to Ramstein AB, Germany and his coveted assignment to the U.S. Air Forces in Europe staff. Chaplain Sanchez has done a tremendous job serving the religious needs of Team Vance while mentoring and leading his superb staff of professionals. Our chapel staff is responsible for so many things that bring the Vance AFB community together (Singles International Gourmet Meal Opportunity, Christmas tree lighting, religious education and volunteer appreciation dinners to just name a few). We indeed are quite blessed to have such a committed team of religious professionals serving the base population, and like Chaplain Hoggatt, we wish Father Sanchez only the very best in the future as he takes the Lord's word to Europe.
Following Chaplain Bridges' successful deployment, he will return to Team Vance and continue doing the incredible job he's known for to all of us.
Yes, we are "so blessed" to have such a great chapel family serving beside us here at Vance AFB. Please take the time to say goodbye to these Team Vance professionals before they leave and tell them "thanks" for their positive contributions to our mission. Have a great and safe weekend!