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Big Andy
Instructors from the Combat Control School at Pope Field, N.C. participated in carrying a log dedicated to fallen comrade Staff Sgt. Andrew Harvell around the flightline, March 15, 2013. The log, estimated to weigh 1,250 pounds, is carved with the words “Big Andy” on one side and “Victory or Valhalla” on the other. The six-mile journey started at the Combat Control School but was shared by members of the 21st Special Tactics Squadron and the 24th Special Tactics Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Adam Luther)
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Airmen shoulder the load in remembrance of fallen comrade

Posted 3/25/2013   Updated 3/25/2013 Email story   Print story


by Adam Luther
440th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/25/2013 - POPE FIELD, N.C.  -- Special tactics operators from across Pope Field, N.C., took part in a six-mile walk around the flightline carrying a log dedicated to a fallen comrade March 15.

The log, carved in honor of Staff Sgt. Andrew Harvell, has an estimated weight of 1,250 pounds. Harvell's nickname "Big Andy" is carved on one side of the log and his mantra "Victory or Valhalla" is carved on the other. Harvell was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan, Sept. 9, 2011.

"We have prospective students carry logs and poles to promote team work, motivation and pride," said Senior Master Sgt Scott Innis, Combat Control School commandant. "After the pole was finished, the staff at Combat Control School decided that combat controllers should carry it before students. We went further and invited the 21st and 24th Special Tactics Squadrons to be involved, as Andy had been assigned to both during his brief career. We split the distance evenly around the flight line."

The journey around the flightline started and ended with the instructors from the Combat Control School and was passed to the special tactics squadrons along the route. The one rule for this trip was the log doesn't touch the ground again until it is back at the Combat Control School.

A brief ceremony honoring fallen special tactics operators concluded the event with students, instructors and current operators in attendance.

3/27/2013 10:06:35 AM ET
That is an awesome thing to see. I have only watched different training on the tv with showing the students carrying logs like that and it is so incredible to see special tactics operators doing it in memory of their fallen comrad. It makes me wonder if they had the guys that are in training watch the operators carry it around the flight line to show them that if they can carry it around the flight line then they should be able to work together and carry it in training.
Monty, Peterson AFB
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