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Reserve woman supporting festivities in celebration of WWII airlift

L’Observateur / July 8, 1998

FRANKFURT, Germany – The daughter of a Reserve couple has only seen the stark images portrayed in black and white – photographs of bomb shelters, food lines and the devastation that enveloped Berlin, Germany. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jodie Edwards doesn’t remember theurgent sound of air raid sirens as they warned of imminent bomb strikes nor has she felt the brutal cold and hunger that was brought on due to dwindling supplies of food and coal.

Edwards, daughter of James and Carolyn Brock of Reserve, wasn’t even born when the U. S. led the massive airlift operation thatsupplied West Berlin’s population with fuel and food between June 1948 through September 1949. Now, 50 years later, Edwards issupporting U.S. and German festivities during the year longcelebration that honors the Air Force, its people and the operation itself.

“I supported the anniversary by making sure all incoming aircraft that were to be put on display arrived here safely. I’m a part of theunit that makes sure the runways and ramps are controlled, monitored and safe. Even though that’s my day-to-day job, supportingevents like the airlift celebration makes it all worthwhile,” Edwards said.

Although the reason the U.S. intervened five decades ago is clear, theever changing mission of people like Edwards is widespread. Withvarious missions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the American military element in Europe has continued to build, strengthen and promote international relations.

“I think it is great that we have forces in Europe. The U.S. is alwayswilling to lend a helping hand and it’s because of the support we provide that we have the respect from other countries here. I’vealways had a big heart, so it’s great when your job supports what your heart supports,” Edwards said.

Edwards and the other airmen that came together to provide support during the anniversary shared a common interest but they all come from different backgrounds and draw their knowledge from different experiences.

“I’m stationed here at Rhein-Main. I’ve been here for six months andit’s a very small base, which is what I like the most. My job here isto ensure aircraft arrive safely and on time,” said Edwards, a 1989 graduate of East St. John High School.As festivities die down and people return to their day-to-day missions, the importance of what was accomplished during the airlift thrives and lives on. And as long as Edwards and the otherswho follow in her footsteps continue their mission of peace, their legacy will continue to strengthen and grow.

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