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Will Rogers Air National Guard base supports Absentee Shawnee Tribal Health System

Joe and Twyla Blanchard, with their daughter Erika, visit with members of the Oklahoma Air National Guard during a health fair for the Absentee Shawnee Tribe in Norman, Okla., July 31, 2015. Members from the 137th Medical Group, Air National Guard Recruiting and the 146th Air Support Operations Squadron represented the Air National Guard during the annual health fair by demonstrating life saving techniques and providing recruiting information to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe community. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech Sgt. Trisha Shields/Released)

Joe and Twyla Blanchard, with their daughter Erika, visit with members of the Oklahoma Air National Guard during a health fair for the Absentee Shawnee Tribe in Norman, Okla., July 31, 2015. Members from the 137th Medical Group, Air National Guard Recruiting and the 146th Air Support Operations Squadron represented the Air National Guard during the annual health fair by demonstrating life saving techniques and providing recruiting information to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe community. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech Sgt. Trisha Shields/Released)

NORMAN, Okla. -- Airmen from Will Rogers Air National Guard base provided support for The Absentee Shawnee Tribal Health System's second annual health fair event at Little Axe Health Clinic here, July 31, 2015.

Members of the 137th Air Refueling Wing's Medical Group, Air National Guard Recruiting Office and 146th Air Support Operations Squadron set up displays. The areas featured a CPR manikin and litters to illustrate combat care, self-aid buddy care, and a Humvee to demonstrate individual first aid kit capabilities.

The Medical Group was happy to take time to share an aspect of WRANGB's mission with the local community. 

"We like to interact with the community because a lot of people aren't aware our base exists," said Tech Sgt. Krystle Slater, 137 Medical Group health systems specialist. "So, it's a chance to increase our visibility."

The Medical Group participated, in part, because of an internal relationship with the Absentee Shawnee Tribe Health Center. Mark Rogers, Absentee Shawnee Tribe Health Center executive director, is also the 137 Medical Group readiness officer. Rogers feels it is important the ANG supports the Shawnee tribe since aspects of the guard culture can contribute to growth in Absentee Shawnee Tribe wellness.

"Health and wellness is important across the board," said Rogers. "Serving in the guard teaches members to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which provides us with a better tribal member and for a more vibrant tribal leader."

Providing support for an important local organization like The Absentee Shawnee Tribe is an added benefit of going to the fair for Slater.

"Every civilian should know the military is here to support them," said Slater. "We want the Absentee Shawnee Tribe to know they are a part of the community as well."

The fair kicked off with remarks from Edwina Butler-Wolfe, Absentee Shawnee Tribe governor.

"I appreciate the community outreach," said Butler-Wolfe. "The Guard being here provides more comfort since you know someone outside of the tribe is willing to offer help."