Tech Sgt. Galloway Connects With Wolves And Colleagues Wednesday Night

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Lindsey LaBelle
Web Editorial Assistant

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Tech Sgt. Crystal Galloway and Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham share something in common: A deep respect and admiration for the U.S. Armed Forces.

Galloway is a member of the 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota National Guard and was honored during the Wednesday night game against the Charlotte Bobcats. She received a personalized jersey and is now an honoree of Heroes United, a program presented by the Minnesota Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation, the Roger and Nancy McCabe Foundation and POPP Communications that honors Minnesota’s military personnel at each home game.

“I think of the coordination and what’s behind it when people want to honor somebody,” Galloway said after receiving her honor. “The history of Cunningham, I learned the history behind him, and how much this means to him. It’s not just an honor for us, it’s for [the Timberwolves] also.”

Cunningham grew up under the Air Force's watchful eye. He spent his youth at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland where his parents, Ronald Cunningham and Searcy Blankenship, were both Chief Master Sergeants. They each spent 30 years in the Air Force and imparted important values on their son, including the crucial practice of respecting leaders.

Since 2000, Galloway has been deployed six times in support of several operations including Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Southern Watch. Galloway’s husband is also part of the Armed Forces and is a pilot for the 133rd Airlift Wing. The pair must grapple with balancing time together, and time with their 4-year-old son, Jackson.

“He goes between families a lot because of us, it goes get tough,” Galloway said of her son. “It’s a different transition now being dual military with a child and trying to do all that, but it’s our lifestyle and we adapt.”

Without a doubt, Jackson will grow up with similar values that Cunningham now upholds.

November is Operation: Minnesota Heroes Month sponsored by the Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation, the Roger and Nancy McCabe Foundation and POPP Communications, and focuses on supporting Minnesota troops and their families. Wednesday night featured a special video message to the audience from Tech Sgt. Jessica Ferris from Burnsville. She is currently deployed in Southwest Asia.

"I know her!" Galloway said as the video played. Galloway works with Ferris at the base in St. Paul.

Galloway’s is very close to her colleagues, and her favorite part of her job is the tight-knit community they share.

“I like the family aspect of it. I hang out with them more than I do my own family.”

Ferris’s husband Jason, daughters Ava and Mercedes, and family were brought onto the court to help honor Ferris before the game.

Also receiving recognition was Private First Class Daniel Mickelson, who served with the Third Battalion and Second Marine Division of the U.S. Marine Corps from Jan. 2008 through Jan. 2012. Mickelson was recognized as part of Heroes in the Making, an Operation: Minnesota Heroes Month campaign, and received a Kevin Love jersey for his dedication and sacrifice.

Operation: Heroes Month serves to honor and recognize Minnesota troops and their families. The FastBreak Foundation works to ensure that those servicemen and women from Minnesota who dutifully serve their country at home and abroad have the opportunity to be recognized by the Timberwolves and their fans.


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