Hanscom prepares for Heroes Homecoming celebration and B3 event

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Hanscom personnel will help honor more than 40 service members who have returned from deployment in the past year during the Hanscom Heroes Homecoming celebration July 27.

Following a private ceremony for the honorees, their families and invited guests, there will be a parade, which is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. at the conference center and end at the base chapel. All Hanscom personnel are encouraged to watch the parade.

The annual celebration is organized by Bobby Jacques, Hanscom Executive Services chief, to recognize returning service members and civilians.

“This event has evolved and grown over the past several years,” Jacques said. “We have folks coming from all over New England to participate and help honor our team members, military and civilian.”

Master. Sgt. Chrystle McGee, one of this year’s honorees and a budget analyst for the 66th Comptroller Squadron, returned from her second deployment in May. She and her son, Anthoney, are looking forward to being part of the Heroes Homecoming celebrations again.

“The support from the community, the base and leadership that I have received has been amazing,” McGee said. “But more importantly, the support and recognition my son has received has meant so much more. He is the true hero and he is ecstatic to be part of the parade again.”

Hanscom personnel are encouraged to line the parade route to honor the Airmen and their families by cheering them on as the parade proceeds to the chapel.

In addition to the honorees and their families, approximately 50 groups are expected to participate in this year’s parade. Many will bring impressive equipment along, including vintage military vehicles and the famous amphibious Boston Duck boats, Jacques said.

Following the parade, all base personnel are invited to continue the festivities with a burgers, band and beverages, or B3, event to celebrate the completion of the base’s biennial Unit Effectiveness Inspection. The installation commander, Col. Roman Hund, is authorizing the parade and B3 events as an alternate duty location from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. July 27. It is expected that employees will either be participating in the event, at their work location or in an approved leave status.

“The B3 event will be held on the base chapel grounds starting at 12 p.m.,” said Courtney Cann, a Program and Project specialist for the 66th Force Support Squadron. “There will be free hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, chips, soda and slush for everyone.”

FSS has also contracted a beer truck, which will be selling beverages for purchase during the B3 event, Cann said.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts, band, Blackout Balter, an alternative and indie rock group, will be the featured entertainment for the event.

Hanscom's Helping Organizations, H2O, formally known as the Integrated Delivery System, will also offer activities.

“H2O will have a few interactive games that promote and educate folks on the various programs and services provided by H2O agencies,” said Carolyn McCafferty, Hanscom’s Community Support coordinator. “Participants will have to answer two questions to enter and play. Games will include Bean Bag Toss, Wheel of Fortune, Nerf Basketball Toss and other simple games. Participants will win promotional items for playing and learning about H2O.”

For additional information about Heroes Homecoming, contact Jacques at 781-225-1333. For more information about the B3 events, contact Cann at 781-225-1356.