D-M Airmen arrive on scene to support tornado victims

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Josh Slavin
  • 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Two Airmen towed a 28-foot trailer to Oklahoma, providing donations and support for tornado victims.

Staff Sgts. Christopher and Kristi Coffman, a married couple from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., took it upon themselves to gather donations from fellow members of the Desert Lightning Team, andafter a couple days, the Coffman's had a trailer full of goods.

"A really good friend of mine called and said 'I've lost everything. I don't have a house. I don't have anything.'" Christopher said. "That hit home, and that's when I thought 'Let's do this. Let's go to Oklahoma and help as many people as we can.'"

The Coffmans collected a wide variety of donations spanning from couches and beds to clothes and baby formula. They also received $400 dollars from various groups and associations on base to help ease the financial burden of gas on the trip.

Originally the Coffmans planned on donating a collection of goods locally to programs like the Red Cross. After learning that there were no guarantees that the donations would ever get to the victims, they decided to personally deliver all collected goods.

On June 1st, 10 days after the tornado hit, they began the nearly 1,000-mile drive to Oklahoma.

Once the decision to personally deliver the goods was made, the Coffmans took a week of leave and drove 28 hours to the victims. After arriving in Oklahoma, they met with friends and various church organizations to give out the supplies.

"The amount of goods we brought was enough to furnish two four-bedroom households," Christopher said.

The Coffmans also went to Tinker AFB, Okla., to donate more than 3,000 pounds of clothes and furniture to the more than 300 military families affected by the tornado. There were 25 families that lost everything.

"I felt an obligation to go help,"Christopher said. "I didn't feel like I could just sit back and watch. The house that my family and I lived in for three years was gone. If we were still stationed there, we would be in the same boat as them."