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MacDill Commander Col. Lenny Richoux holds up a photo of him in the cockpit of a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The mission was in Fall 2006 when a record-breaking 21 aircraft flew in formation over central South Carolina as seen in the photo to the right.
Florida Matters: The Military & Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day – a time when civilians and military alike will take a moment to remember those killed while serving their country.

This week Florida Matters takes a look at the U.S. Military through the eyes of a base commander, a WWII veteran and a documentary producer.

Col. Lenny Richoux is commander for both the U.S. Air Force 6th Air Mobility Wing and MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. He arrived at MacDill in July 2010 and will leave for his next assignment, as a special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe Adm. James Stavridis, on July 27th.

During his two years running MacDill, Richoux has overseen many changes like the building of a new Central Command Headquarters and new base housing that’s been privatized.

Col. Richoux also shares a commander’s perspective on implementing major policy changes handed down from the Pentagon on increased suicide rates, the stigma of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and military sexual assault.

Sarah Pusateri co-produced a documentary on military sexual assault titled, Uniform Betrayal, the documentary premiered on WUSF-TV, Channel 16, and will be broadcast again on WEDU, Channel 3, on June 1st and 14th.

Less than 1 percent of the U.S. population serves in the military today, but during WWII virtually every family had someone in the fight.

Tampa native and retired Circuit Judge John P. “Jack” Griffin was no exception. He and his brother enlisted in WWII. Jack ended up in the Pacific as a Navy pharmacist mate – the only medical man aboard LSM 185.

Jack has shared many stories with his son, Tampa attorney Chris Griffin, and next month the two of them will travel on an “Honor Flight” to Washington D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial and others together. Before that trip, he shared some of what it was like when the whole country and world was at war.

For Memorial Day, Col. Richoux shared his favorite memorials that have meaning to him and his family.

He often takes his son to the Air Park at MacDill AFB which has three aircraft, flown by MacDill airmen, on display. In Washington D.C., the Korean Veterans memorial is meaningful because he father, a Marine, fought in that war.

“I’ve personally seen the healing,” Richoux said when his father visited the memorial. And he’s seen the same healing of Vietnam Veterans who have visited “the wall” – the nickname for the Vietnam Memorial.

Program Schedule

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7

Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Radio Guests

MacDill commander Col. Lenny Richoux in his office which he will vacate July 27th, he's reassigned to the European Command in Belgium.Col. Lenny Richoux, commander MacDill Air Force Base
WWII Veteran Jack Griffin and his son, Chris Griffin, will visit the war memorials in Washington during next month's "Honor Flight."WWII Veteran Jack Griffin and his son, Chris Griffin
Sarah Pusateri, Healthy State co-producer of the documentary "Uniform Betrayal."Sarah Pusateri, Healthy State documentary co-producer.

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