If there is any information you would like to see placed on Griffs page, to honor him, his family or his service please send to me and i will proudly post the additions. Photos are welcomed/encouraged.
Airman remembered as confident leader
The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Air Force Staff Sgt. Travis Griffin knew the dangers of serving in Iraq, but the 28-year-old volunteered anyway as part of a yearlong deployment to help train Iraqi police officers.
Griffin was on patrol in central Baghdad on Thursday when his vehicle encountered a roadside bomb and he was killed, officials at Kirtland Air Force Base confirmed late Friday.
Griffin, who had served in the Air Force for nearly nine years, was a member of the 377th Security Forces Squadron at Kirtland. He had been stationed at the Albuquerque base since July 2004.
Griffin’s mother, Christine Herwick of western Ohio, was at the Clearcreek Christian Assembly in Springboro, Ohio, on Thursday when she learned of her son’s death. Griffin’s picture is on a prayer wall at the church.
“He died doing what he loved,” she said.
Herwick and Griffin’s stepfather, Donald Herwick III, said he was born in Okinawa, where the Herwicks were both on active duty, and traveled with them from base to base.
“We knew there was risk every day,” Donald Herwick said. “He wanted to be there.”
Col. Robert Suminsby, installation commander at Kirtland, said Griffin’s mission in Iraq was much more dangerous than what most airmen are confronted with.
“Most deploy for four to six months. He actually volunteered to go on a 365-day tour,” Suminsby said. “He was one of the folks that really stepped up to do not just a very dangerous and demanding mission, but one that was going to last a lot longer.”
Griffin, of Dover, Del., had been in Iraq since October and was working with the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. As part of the squadron’s Detachment 3, Griffin and his fellow airmen were focused on helping build Iraq’s police force.
Capt. Kevin Eberhart, operations officer of Kirtland’s security forces, had regular talks with Griffin before he deployed last fall. The two talked about Griffin being safe and taking care of his troops as well as the importance of the mission.
“The biggest thing that comes to mind when I think about him is he was definitely the right person if you had to pick one individual from our unit to go over and do this training. He was that one,” Eberhart said.
In a November interview with the American military newspaper Stars and Stripes, Griffin said: “I want to leave knowing that we’ve done something.”
Eberhart described Griffin as competent and confident but not arrogant.
“He had a capability and a charisma about him,” he said.
Kirtland Air Force Base spokeswoman Jillian Speake said a memorial service was being planned for Griffin but no date has been set.
Griffin is the second Kirtland airman to die in Iraq in the past month. Sgt. Christopher Frost, 24, a native of Wisconsin, was killed in March near Bayji, Iraq, when the Iraqi Army Mi-17 helicopter in which he was riding crashed. He was assigned to Kirtland’s 377th Air Base Wing and worked with the base’s public affairs office.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Travis L. Griffin remembered
The Associated Press
Travis L. Griffin was blessed with patience, stamina and an “internal motor” that kept him going hours into a job, said Capt.
Kevin Eberhart. “Everyone else would be dragging, but it seemed like he was never worn out.”
“His lot in this world,” Eberhart added, “was to train people. He used humor, sometimes self-deprecating humor, to get his points across.”
Griffin, 28, of Dover, Del., was killed April 3 near Baghdad by a roadside bomb. He was assigned to Kirtland Air Force Base and was on his fourth tour in Iraq — his seventh assignment in the Middle East.
Col. Robert Suminsby said Griffin’s mission in Iraq was much more dangerous than what most airmen are confronted with. “Most deploy for four to six months. He actually volunteered to go on a 365-day tour,” Suminsby said. “He was one of the folks that really stepped up to do not just a very dangerous and demanding mission, but one that was going to last a lot longer.”
Eberhart described Griffin as competent and confident but not arrogant. “He had a capability and a charisma about him,” he said.
He is survived by his wife, Krista, and son, Elijah, 5.
Security forces squad honors one of its own
Courtesy of U.S. Air Force
Staff Sgt. Travis Griffin
Bryce S. Dubee / S&S
Lt. Col. Curt Reidel, commander of the 6th Field Investigations Squadron, asks for donations to set him free from an "Arrest Cell" set up Tuesday in the Yokota Community Center. The Cell was a fundraiser organized by the 374th Security Forces Squadron for National Police Week.
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — He never sat next to them in the office or went out on patrol with them, but for members of the 374th Security Forces Squadron, Staff Sgt. Travis Griffin was one of their own.
Every year, members of the law enforcement community from across the United States take the week of May 15, National Police Week, to pay tribute to those who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Last week, the 374th Security Forces Squadron used National Police Week as a chance to honor Griffin, a member of the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron who was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad on April 3.
During the week, security forces at Yokota hosted activities to reach out to the base community and show them it’s not all about traffic stops and writing tickets.
"Our main job is to protect and serve the community," said Richard H. King, the 374th Security Forces Squadron resource protection/crime prevention manager. "And in doing so, there are some that have given their lives doing just that."
Assigned to the 377th Security Forces Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Griffin, 28, was scheduled for an assignment to Yokota in March, King said. He said all money collected from the week’s events at Yokota would be donated to Griffin’s family.
"Security forces members are a tight brotherhood within the Air Force," said Staff Sgt. Kenneth McCoy, who was working at the "Arrest Cell" fundraiser at the Yokota Community Center on Tuesday.
"It feels good knowing that we can take care of one of our own."
During Tuesday’s fundraiser, members of the Yokota community donated money to have a co-worker "arrested" and placed in the mock jail in the YCC. The accused had the option of matching the donation to bail themselves out or sitting in the cell and begging passers-by for money to help set them free.
One security forces member working the event said many of the donations ranged between $20 and $60, with one group donating $175 to have someone locked up.
"I think it’s great," said Lt. Col. Curt Reidel, commander of the 6th Field Investigations Squadron, from inside the cell. "It’s a really good way to honor somebody who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to help their family."
King said the Arrest Cell raised $2,600, and that while the squadron had been planning to do something to help Griffin’s family, being able to get the entire base involved was even better.
The squadron held several other community events as well.
"This is the time of year when we can really show our positive side," King said.