Airman’s Wingman defines friendship

Emily Reagan
Kaiserslautern American

Airman Amanda Jones and Airmen first class Danielle Wortman and Ashley Hinman are like sisters. All three attended security forces technical school together and PCSed to the 569th Security Forces Squadron on Vogelweh as their first assignment.
“We’re like a family over here,” said Airman Jones.

And when the Combat Wingman program started up in October, they were quick to choose each other as Wingmen.

That same month, Airman Hinman was hospitalized at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune deficiency disease.

For two weeks Airman Jones stayed with her Wingman.
“She brought me clothes, read books to me, watched movies with me and pushed me around the hospital in a wheelchair,” said Airman Hinman. “She even held my hand when I had to get shots.”

Everyday Airman Jones called Airman Hinman’s family in New York with news and the latest test results, playing a vital role in keeping the Hinman family informed, since patient confidentiality rules do not allow information to be passed over the phone and Airman Jones had been given the official “right to know.”
At the same time Airman Wortman visited and helped to deal with the difficult stresses.

“I couldn’t have done it if it
wasn’t for (Danielle),” said Airman Jones, who was in tears when breaking more bad news to the Hinman family. “She was my Wingman.”

After Airman Hinman was released from the hospital, the 569th SFS Charlie Flight began raising money to fly Hinman’s family to Germany.

The women were delivering cookies to KMC security forces Christmas Eve when Airman Hinman opened a door at work to find her mother, father, twin sister and two younger sisters.
“I was really shocked,” said Airman Hinman. “I didn’t know they would be there. I shut the door in their face!”

“The look on her face was worth it. We’d all kept the secret so long – since October. It made us all feel good,” Airman Jones said. “Then she started crying so we all started crying.”

But the surprise was turned back to Airman Jones when Brig. Gen. Rosanne Bailey, 435th Air Base Wing and KMC commander, surprised her with Ramstein’s first-ever Wingman coin Jan. 6 while she was attending a Customer College class.

“We all need someone to take care of us,” Airman Jones said. “It’s harder to go overseas if you’re not married because you don’t have family, but you find friends and make them family.”