Group commander takes stage at Memorial Day weekend event

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Keith
  • 624th Regional Support Group Public Affairs
This past Memorial Day weekend was rainy and humid, but that did not stop the commander of the 624th Regional Support Group here, Col. Maynard "Max" Mendoza, and a team of Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) recruiters from taking the stage to publicize opportunities in the Air Force Reserve at a free show held Saturday, May 24, at Ward Field, Naval Station Pearl Harbor here.


Mendoza, the senior AFRC field commander in the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) and the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) area of responsibility, introduced well-known ventriloquist and comedian, Jeff Dunham, to the 8,500-strong crowd at the AFRC-sponsored Tour for the Troops.


"We may be small in numbers but we sure know how to rock with the rest of you all," Mendoza told the crowd. Mendoza said he was proud to represent the 624th RSG, the largest Air Force Reserve presence in PACOM.  


"These tours help to boost morale especially in times of need, like a holiday such as Memorial Day when people are separated from their families," said Senior Master Sgt. Carl Nixon, PACAF flight chief here for AFRC Recruiting Service. He said, "Many of the troops have a four-day weekend, so instead of sitting at home with nothing to do they can come to a great show like this."


Mendoza said he was happy to give the opening remarks at the Air Force Reserve's Tour for the Troops and to contribute to a morale-boosting show that benefited his fellow Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Coast Guard members here on the island. Mendoza, who was born and raised in Hawaii, has been an Air Reserve Technician since 1993 after serving 10 years on active duty.


At the end of the night, members of the 624th RSG took advantage of a meet-and-greet photo session with the comedian. One airman in particular said she was a big fan of Dunham's and had all of his DVDs. Master Sgt. Maria Tailo, chief of personnel utilization for the 624th RSG, was excited to get her picture taken with the comedian. She said she planned to frame the photo and hang it at her unit.


Nixon said he was working on getting Usher, Ludacris, or Kid Rock to perform here in December at another AFRC-sponsored event.


More than 2,000 Air Force Reserve members serve in the Pacific Air Forces and the PACOM arena to include individual mobilization augmentees (IMA) and traditional reservists (TR).


For more information about opportunities in the Air Force Reserve, call 800-257-1212 or go to