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99th Civil Engineer Squadron remembers lost friend, co-worker
Members of the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron present the Colors at Sandra Kracke's Memorial Service, held at the Base Chapel on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Aug. 8, 2008. Mrs. Kracke, 99th CES security manager, died in a vehicle accident Aug. 5. (U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Airman Jason R. Huddleston)
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99th Civil Engineer Squadron, Nellis honor lost friend, co-worker

Posted 8/11/2008   Updated 8/14/2008 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Ryan Whitney
Nellis AFB Public Affairs

8/11/2008 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- More than 300 Airmen, family, and friends gathered at the Base Chapel here to honor and remember a recently lost friend and co-worker Aug. 8, 2008.

Sandra Kracke, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron security manager, died in a traffic accident Aug. 5, 2008.

Ms. Kracke and family arrived at Nellis in 2006 with her husband, Master Sgt. Dean Kracke, 57th Equipment Maintenance Squadron. She then began working in the 99th CES orderly room.

In the short time she was here, she developed friendships and was well known throughout the squadron.

"What set Sandra apart from others was her love and involvement with our squadron -- she was everywhere," said Col. Patrick Fogarty, 99th CES commander. "She ran the calendar committee for the booster club, she was on the 2007 Air Force Ball (committee) for the base, trained escorts for Col. Michael Bartley (former 99th Air Base Wing commander), she was at every baby shower, booster-club meeting, and burger burn we had. She was always there for us, and we are all going to miss her."

Friends and co-workers also shared some fond memories they had collected since meeting the Georgia native in 2006.

Christina Buh, 99th CES, shared a story of how Sandra had plotted an extravagant going away to ensure that Brittany Burke, then an Airman, got the right send-off. "After it was all over and Ms. Burke was good and embarrassed, Sandra went over to her and said 'we wouldn't have done this if we didn't like you.'"

"She loved working at the Civil Engineer Squadron and coming to work every day. There was never a dull moment in the office, we were always scheming something to cheer everyone up," Ms. Buh continued. "She was one of the nicest, caring, trusting and selfless people I have ever met, she was always there for everyone and she never complained."

Her excellent work ethic, attitude on the job, and community support earned her praise from the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron commander.

"Many don't know this since it hasn't been announced yet, but Sandra was our nominee to compete at Air Combat Command as the Civilian Technician of the year," Colonel Fogarty said.

"On her desk and all over her wall was the phrase 'live, laugh, love.' She lived fully, laughed all the time, and loved all of us," Colonel Fogarty said. "She gave her time, heart, and passion to everyone."

Ms. Kracke had recently applied to volunteer with the Make-A-Wish foundation to help children facing life-threatening illnesses. She was scheduled to train for the volunteer opportunity a few hours after the fatal accident.

"Sandra Volunteered in her community (boy scouts, girl scouts) -- I was a military brat and she's the kind of person who helped me when I was growing up," said Dean Dupalo, wish granting officer and volunteer coordinator Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada.

Ms. Kracke is survived by her husband, Master Sgt. Dean Kracke, and their two sons.

Anyone wishing to make memorial contributions on behalf of Ms. Kracke can contact Chief Master Sgt. Ron Brown,, with all donations going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

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