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Cannon Airmen join community in cleanup effort

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Some of the more than 250 Airmen pick up trash in Clovis, N.M., as part of the Great American Cleanup on April 26. Nearly 1,200 bags were filled with 94,000 pounds of garbage in about four hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Allen)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Some of the more than 250 Airmen pick up trash in Clovis, N.M., as part of the Great American Cleanup on April 26. Nearly 1,200 bags were filled with 94,000 pounds of garbage in about four hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Allen)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Airman Shelly-Ann Douglas, 27th Special Operations Wing Security Forces Squadron, looks for more trash during the Great American Cleanup on April 26. Airman Douglas was one of more than 250 Airmen who particpated in the cleanup with Clovis, N.M., community residents and helped collect more than 94,000 pounds of trash, (U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Allen

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Airman Shelly-Ann Douglas, 27th Special Operations Wing Security Forces Squadron, looks for more trash during the Great American Cleanup on April 26. Airman Douglas was one of more than 250 Airmen who particpated in the cleanup with Clovis, N.M., community residents and helped collect more than 94,000 pounds of trash, (U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Allen

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- More than 250 Airmen teamed with the Clovis, N.M., community to fill nearly 1,200 bags of trash in the Great American Cleanup on April 26. One area the Airmen focused on was Highway 60/84, which leads into Clovis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Allen)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- More than 250 Airmen teamed with the Clovis, N.M., community to fill nearly 1,200 bags of trash in the Great American Cleanup on April 26. One area the Airmen focused on was Highway 60/84, which leads into Clovis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Allen)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Airman Shelly-Ann Douglas, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, looks  at a map outlining areas to clean during the Great Americnan Cleanup on April 26. More than 200 Airmen joined with residents from Clovis, N.M., to fill nearly 1,200 bags with 94,000 pounds of trash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Allen)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Airman Shelly-Ann Douglas, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, looks at a map outlining areas to clean during the Great Americnan Cleanup on April 26. More than 200 Airmen joined with residents from Clovis, N.M., to fill nearly 1,200 bags with 94,000 pounds of trash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Allen)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Senior Airman Oralia Buenrostro, 27th Special Operations Medical Support Squadron, and her son, Juan, 9, pick up trash near the railroad tracks on Mabry Drive in Clovis, N.M. More than 250 Airmen participated in the Great American Cleanup effort on April 26, and with the community, collected more than 94,000 pounds of trash. (U.S. Air Force by Greg Allen)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Senior Airman Oralia Buenrostro, 27th Special Operations Medical Support Squadron, and her son, Juan, 9, pick up trash near the railroad tracks on Mabry Drive in Clovis, N.M. More than 250 Airmen participated in the Great American Cleanup effort on April 26, and with the community, collected more than 94,000 pounds of trash. (U.S. Air Force by Greg Allen)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- A total of 252 Airmen joined Clovis residents to pick up nearly 1,200 bags of trash weighing 94,000 pounds as part of the Great American Cleanup on April 26.

This far exceeded the 120 volunteers from last year, and, according to Clovis Parks and Recreation Director Rob Carter, Airmen made all the difference.

"Without his (Col. Timothy Leahy, 27th Special Operations Wing commander) assistance, and the support of the Airmen from Cannon, the large turnout would not have been possible," said Mr. Carter.

The 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group teamed with the Clovis Chamber of Commerce to win the Golden Dumpster award for gathering more than 300 bags of trash. Gold, silver, and bronze mini-dumpsters are presented to the top teams in the cleanup.

Everyone gathered at a Parks and Recreation site on 5th and Sycamore, and at 8 a.m. teams headed out to areas in Clovis and Curry County to pick up trash. Some Airmen, such as Senior Airman Orelia Buenrostro, 27th Special Operations Medical Support Squadron, made it a family event. Her son, 9-year old Juan, picked up the trash while she held the bag.

"Butts, there's too many cigarette butts," he grumbled as he continued filling the bag.

Airman Shelly-Ann Douglas, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, with headphones clinging to her ears, methodically worked a trash-strewn field to fill her black trash bag,

"I'm here because I like to help people and the community" she said.

"The number of Airmen who stepped up to partner with our community was overwhelming," said Chief Master Sgt. Bryan Longacre, 27th Mission Support Group superintendent. "Seeing the gratitude in the event organizers' eyes was a very proud moment for me. I would like to pass on a huge thank you from Mr. Carter and (P.J.) Odegaard (also from the City Parks and Recreation Department). They were truly impressed."

According to Chief Longacre the base and the city will again partner up in the summer in a "Clean the Corridor" campaign. Airmen and residents will focus on the area from the Clovis city limits to Cannon's front gate.