A little down-home hospitality

  • Published
  • By Mr. Jeremy Roman
  • 301st Fighter Wing

The 301st Fighter Wing Honorary Commanders program, which belongs to the wing commander, aims to partner with local civic leaders on several fronts. The invitation not only allows these commanders to be adopted by one of the wing’s units but more importantly, it allows them the opportunity to get to know the Airmen who make the mission happen. 

During their two-year tenure, honorary commanders have traveled with the wing on civic leader tours, visited with Airmen before a deployment and attended unit training assemblies on weekends for the purpose of showing them what their local wing does. 

For the first time in the program’s history; something changed.

“We’ve gotten to show [these commanders] who we are and what we do when they come to visit us,” said 301st Fighter Wing Commander Colonel Mitch Hanson. “But what if we went to visit them, see what they do, and get to know them better in their environment?”

On November 15, 2019, several members of wing leadership were able to do just that when they toured American Hat Company in Bowie, Texas. They were greeted by 301 FW Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Honorary Commander Mr. Keith Mundee who is also the president of American Hat Co.

On the tour, the Airmen were shown the hat making process from beginning to end as well as meeting their hard-working and friendly employees. 

“What a huge honor to host heroes,” Mundee said. “What we do is very minor in comparison to what the Air Force is doing behind the scenes every day to keep us safe. I’m just thrilled to death to be able to host this tour.”

Hanson also shared some final thoughts before the tour ended.

“When you compare flying jets to making cowboy hats… on the surface you might think those two things are totally different but that’s not necessarily true,” Hanson said. “The approach is the same... You work hard, try your best every day and take pride in what you do, which makes us more similar than one would think.”


*** No federal endorsement intended in this article. ***

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