Security forces squad honors one of its own
Stars and Stripes May 18, 2008
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — He never sat next to them in the office or went out on patrol with them, but for members of the 374th Security Forces Squadron, Staff Sgt. Travis Griffin was one of their own.
Every year, members of the law enforcement community from across the United States take the week of May 15, National Police Week, to pay tribute to those who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Last week, the 374th Security Forces Squadron used National Police Week as a chance to honor Griffin, a member of the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron who was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad on April 3.
During the week, security forces at Yokota hosted activities to reach out to the base community and show them it’s not all about traffic stops and writing tickets.
"Our main job is to protect and serve the community," said Richard H. King, the 374th Security Forces Squadron resource protection/crime prevention manager. "And in doing so, there are some that have given their lives doing just that."
Assigned to the 377th Security Forces Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Griffin, 28, was scheduled for an assignment to Yokota in March, King said. He said all money collected from the week’s events at Yokota would be donated to Griffin’s family.
"Security forces members are a tight brotherhood within the Air Force," said Staff Sgt. Kenneth McCoy, who was working at the "Arrest Cell" fundraiser at the Yokota Community Center on Tuesday.
"It feels good knowing that we can take care of one of our own."
During Tuesday’s fundraiser, members of the Yokota community donated money to have a co-worker "arrested" and placed in the mock jail in the YCC. The accused had the option of matching the donation to bail themselves out or sitting in the cell and begging passers-by for money to help set them free.
One security forces member working the event said many of the donations ranged between $20 and $60, with one group donating $175 to have someone locked up.
"I think it’s great," said Lt. Col. Curt Reidel, commander of the 6th Field Investigations Squadron, from inside the cell. "It’s a really good way to honor somebody who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to help their family."
King said the Arrest Cell raised $2,600, and that while the squadron had been planning to do something to help Griffin’s family, being able to get the entire base involved was even better.
The squadron held several other community events as well.
"This is the time of year when we can really show our positive side," King said.