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164th Airlift Wing Members Volunteer at the 2023 Liberty Bowl

  • Published
  • 164th AW

Airmen of the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis, Tennessee help setup and present awards at the 65th AutoZone Liberty Bowl, featuring Memphis vs. Iowa, at the Liberty Bowl Stadium Memphis, Tennessee, December 29, 2023. When Memphis won the game, it was members from the 164th and Green County Tech Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps who rushed the Liberty Bell trophy onto the football field.


“We have the Liberty Bell trophy, MVP trophy, the Coaches’ Trophies, offensive and defensive players for both schools. We also have the crystal that is giving away at the President's Gala of the night before the Liberty Bowl for the coaches,” said Master Sgt Glenn Barlow, the superintendent for the Finance Office and point-of-contact for the 164th AW volunteers. “And then we also have the trophy for the musical talent that's going to be there.”


Among all the events that happen during the week, there are easily over 125 volunteers, including members of the Green County Tech JROTC that the 164th partnered with starting in 2015 according to Barlow. This provides an opportunity for Airmen to have an active presence in the community.


“We are celebrating Memphis. We are able to show what the 164th and the Air National Guard do. We are also able to pair those two together and show that we are not just a military unit, but we are also here within our city, within our community,” said Barlow.


The three main priorities of the 164th AW are airmen development, mission readiness and innovative processes. Participating in events like this allow for boosts in morale while also challenging the Airmen in ways that strengthen these concepts and helping the community.


“They do a wonderful job, their ability to make quick decisions, get things done around here. I mean he (Barlow) has had to make decisions under fire, you know, what do I do here? What do we do there? Because with the thousands of people that we are hosting, there's always issues,” said Mr. Steve Ehrhart, executive director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, “I mean, they're on the spot, and we trust them 100% and it's so great to have them as partners.”


In addition to the taking care of the trophies for the ceremony, the volunteers are also responsible for getting the equipment on to the field for the pregame show, halftime show, the awards ceremony and volunteering in events during the week, leading up to the game as well. These are just the activities they oversee during the game.


For Airmen like Tech Sgt Timothy Andrassy, a religious affairs airman with the 164th Wing Chaplain’s Office and volunteer, moments like pushing the stage during halftime offer an opportunity volunteer and give back to the Memphis community.


“It is always an honor to volunteer and give back to the Memphis community. When I have time outside of drill status I look forward to volunteering,” said Andrassy, “the Mid-South supports the military and for several years I’ve volunteered and given back with my time and support.”