561st AMXS gifts 5-year-old cancer survivor Christmas presents, honorary squadron membership

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

On one of the coldest days of the year, the 561st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, warmed many hearts by surprising a child with Christmas gifts and fellowship Dec. 22, 2022.

The 561st AMXS, who maintains F-15 aircraft, invited Keason Milton and his mother, Tiffany Milton, to their hangar to help celebrate the 5-year-old completing his last chemotherapy treatment.

“Several months ago, we all got together and decided that we were going to adopt a family this year for Christmas as a way to give back to the community,” said Robert Koehler, 561st AMXS mechanic work lead.

Keason has been battling Ewing-like Sarcoma since the age of two. The rare cancer can occur in the bones or the soft tissue surrounding the bones.

As part of the commemoration of ending his chemotherapy, members of the 561st AMXS decided to fulfill some of Keason’s Christmas wish list.

Though he moved about quietly, Keason excitedly ran around a large table holding many presents from him.

“Mommy, can I open them?” he asked while tugging at his mother’s sweater. Once she gave the okay, he tore into the various wrapped packages.

Among the gifts was a gaming system, television, watch and remote-control car.

“We wanted to help the family with a Christmas that they perhaps couldn’t afford because of all of the medical bills,” said Koehler. “The whole 561st gave money or went out and got gifts for the family.”

Tiffany Milton was overwhelmed with gratitude from the showering of heartfelt kindness.

“We are very excited and thankful,” said Milton while fighting back tears. “We’ve been through a lot and just for people to recognize and bring attention to childhood cancer is blessing. We are thankful to be here, for him to be here through this journey.

“I wanted something very special for him to do so he’ll know hey, I completed this big event with completing chemo and let’s celebrate,” she continued. “So we combined everything together, and we’re here today with all of our family and friends –  all our new friends, which is the crew here and the base.”

To close out the party, Jim Kelly, 561st AMXS director, named Keason an honorary squadron member.

“Adopting Keason as a member of the squadron lets him know that he has a huge extended family,” said Kelly. “The gesture just goes to show that the character and heart of the men and women serving our country go deeper than just fixing airplanes.”