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2022 Military Family of the Year Recognized during World’s Largest Barbecue

July 18, 2022

For more information contact:

Doug Williamson, Director of Government Affairs
325-665-0571
dwilliamson@abilenechamber.com

Gray Bridwell
Vice President, Military Affairs
325-669-4498
gray@abilenechamber.com

2022 Military Family of the Year Recognized during World’s Largest Barbecue

On Saturday, July 16, 2022, the Abilene Military Affairs Committee (MAC) hosted the 57th World’s Largest Barbecue at the Abilene Convention Center. A special presentation of the 2022 Military Family of the Year took place during the event which is a program of Airman and Family Readiness Center.

With the purpose of recognizing military families who have contributed to the military and local community through volunteer service and community involvement, this year’s recipient is the Gibson family. The dual military family SMSgt Katie Gibson and MSgt Kyle Gibson plus their three children Kristian, Kora and Kamden are the recipients of the 2022 Military Family of the Year.

Katie currently serves as the 317th Airlift Wing Inspector General Complaint and Resolutions Superintendent. In this role, she assists Airmen, civilians, dependents, and retirees find solutions to problems and indicate if commander involvement is needed. As the 317th Airlift Wing Commander’s “eyes and ears” she oversees complaints resolution on behalf of 1,200 personnel, executing the largest C-130J Flying Hour Program in Air Mobility Command.

Kyle currently serves as Team Dyess’ Airmen Leadership School Commandant. In his role, Kyle oversees the development and execution of the first formal level of professional military education for enlisted members. Kyle leads a team of five instructors who are responsible for developing 315 Airmen annually from Dyess AFB, Fort Hood, and Naval Air Station Fort Worth into first-line leaders.

The Gibson’s commitment to making Dyess AFB and Abilene a better community is always at the forefront of their minds. They take opportunities to mentor and develop those around them such as booster club meetings, training upgrades, Top 3 membership, and morale events. Kyle and Katie understand their positions in the military routinely require sacrifice in the form of time away from family. The role and struggles of a military family were never more present than in their last assignment where both supported the Presidential Airlift Group and had to manage active flying positions on Air Force One.

In the past year, Katie has been one of only two base-wide liaisons for the Abilene “Home Away from Home” Program. This program matches first-term Airmen directly out of basic training with local host families. The program was built to alleviate the anxiety of Airmen being separated from home for the first time in their lives after Basic Military Training. Katie has been instrumental with matching these Airmen with one of 33 amazing families in Abilene through bi-weekly meetings with every new Airmen assigned to Dyess AFB.

Kyle’s team, and his Airman Leadership School students, work with the Dyess ‘We Care Team’ and have volunteered numerous hours at the Hendrick Home for Children to assist with unpacking and setting up furniture and cleaning horse stalls. Each class that graduates from Airmen Leadership School organizes a class project that is intended to give back to Team Dyess and/or the Abilene community. In that spirit, Kyle has led class of students in support other Abilene organizations to include Big Country Special Olympics and the local Habitat for Humanity.

Three other Dyess families were honored as Nominees for the award. The Mitchell Family – 7th CES/CED TSgt John & TSgt Lorelle, Amari, King and Mason; the Brandt family – 7th MXG SSgt Robyn & SSgt Nolan, Samuel; and the Ogletree Family – MSgt Olivia and TSgt Abbul-Fathi, Elijah and Azryel Venson Ogletree.

The Military Affairs Committee is a public-private partnership of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, Development Corporation of Abilene, individuals and businesses. Through its 300 members, MAC advocates for expansion and preservation of missions at Dyess and cares for the needs of military members and their families.

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