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Airmen help with school beautification project

"I believe it really showed them the power of teamwork and maybe for some,
another side of the Air Force. I look forward to working with them again and
hope that we can continue to strengthen our community relationships through
partnerships like this," said Ms. Erika Maier, kneeling, second from left,
who heads the Surfside Elementary School's Beautification and Gardening
Committee. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Matthew Jurgens)

"I believe it really showed them the power of teamwork and maybe for some, another side of the Air Force. I look forward to working with them again and hope that we can continue to strengthen our community relationships through partnerships like this," said Ms. Erika Maier, kneeling, second from left, who heads the Surfside Elementary School's Beautification and Gardening Committee. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Matthew Jurgens)

"Showing our support within the community can really make a difference, even
in these times of budget constraints and money shortfalls," said Staff Sgt.
Scott Tantius, far right, who served as the unofficial organizer for the
event. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Matthew Jurgens)

"Showing our support within the community can really make a difference, even in these times of budget constraints and money shortfalls," said Staff Sgt. Scott Tantius, far right, who served as the unofficial organizer for the event. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Matthew Jurgens)

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. -- Ms. Erika Maier, who heads the Surfside Elementary School's Beautification
and Gardening Committee, readily admitted she didn't know what she was in
for when she accepted the offer from local Airmen who helped get the school
ready for their 50th birthday next month.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Tantius, from the 114th Range Operations Squadron, and
45th Space Wing Honor Guard, recently contacted Surfside Elementary School
and said he would ask for help from other Airmen and friends to assist with
some self-help projects at the local school.

This request turned into a large group of service members from the Honor
Guard, 114th ROPS, 45th Space Wing, 920th Rescue Wing, and other tenant
units joining hands and shovels to complete a large landscape and
beautification project last weekend.

"Let me just start by giving a huge thanks to Staff Sgt. Tantius," said Ms.
Maier. "We could never have accomplished so much so fast" she said.

"They accomplished more in the first hour than I thought we would get done
all day. "Our parents really enjoyed working with all of the military
personnel and the kids were so impressed," she said with a beaming smile.

"I believe it really showed them the power of teamwork and maybe for some,
another side of the Air Force. I look forward to working with them again and
hope that we can continue to strengthen our community relationships through
partnerships like this," she said.

Sgt. Tantius downplayed the effort, and called it a real team effort between
Airmen and the community in which they live and call home.

"Showing our support within the community can really make a difference, even
in these times of budget constraints and money shortfalls," he said.

"It doesn't cost a thing to get down and dirty and get the job done. We were
very happy we could make a small difference," he said.