Volunteers assist Aviano during Ecological Day

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AVIANO, Italy — Air Force Senior Airman Shaun Haynes (right) and Tech. Sgt. Sonya Braxton, 31st Force Support Squadron, pick up trash March 15 at the industrial area of Aviano, during Ecological day. More than 170 Aviano Airman and civilians teamed up with members of local Aviano Community to cleanse Aviano streets of trash and debris.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman LaVel Sterling)

AVIANO, Italy — Local Italian nationals serve a pasta meal to the volunteers of Ecological Day March 15 at the Aviano Square. More than 170 Aviano Airmen and civilians enjoyed the meal after helping the local Aviano Community during Ecological day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman LaVel Sterling)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — Volunteers from Aviano Air Base pitched in to clean up the roads surrounding the municipality of Aviano during Ecological Day March 15.

More than 150 base volunteers from the base took to the streets during the annual clean up day in Aviano. The team spent three hours combing the streets of Aviano to pick up trash.

"It's a good way to get involved in the Italian community and show them that we are here to help," said Senior Airman Shaun Haynes, 31st Force Support Squadron.

Some of the interesting finds included two purses, which were turned over to police. In all, the group, along with Italian volunteers, picked up about 900 cubic feet of trash. The trash was taken to the municipality's ecological compound for disposal.

"Base personnel have been attending this event for years and the turnout was great," said Kurt Aktansel, 31st Civil Engineer Squadron engineer and team leader for base participants. "The event serves two purposes: First, to work together with local communities to clean up our local roads and second, to interact with the local Italian community and build stronger bonds."

The event concluded at the Aviano main square with lunch for all participants. This event is an example of how Airman get involved with their local communities.

"The 31st Fighter Wing is looking for more ways to partner with local municipalities to offer assistance for events like this," said 1st Lt. Kimberly Schaerdel, 31st Fighter Wing public affairs officer. "We live, work and play in our Italian communities, so community involvement is an important area of cooperation."

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