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Barksdale dedicates new book exchange box to Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault

  • Published
  • By A1C William Pugh
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

A community book exchange box dedicated to Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault was established at Barksdale Air Force Base on June 8, 2021.

The exchange box provides the Barksdale community with a program to encourage reading and learning through a free book swap.

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Kitchens, 2nd Maintenance Squadron NCO in charge of maintenance flight, constructed the book exchange box.

“The whole idea behind a library exchange box is that when you take a book, you leave a book,” Kitchens said. “Maybe someone else who's never read that book will take it home and that's the concept the program was founded upon.”

The Every Warrior Network, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting members of the armed forces and promoting the Barksdale community, sponsored the project.

“I've built a few wooden projects for the Every Warrior Network,” Kitchens said. “I came up with the plan for the book exchange box and the rest is history.”

The book exchange box is dedicated to Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault, an American military aviator best known for his leadership of the Republic of China Air Force in World War II.

His granddaughter, Nell Calloway, is the president of the Chennault Museum.

“It is appropriate to have a library box dedicated to him because, in his mind, education was foremost,” Calloway said. “I think because he was a school teacher, he was exceedingly dedicated to education.”

The ceremony lasted about a half hour, incorporating Barksdale’s daily playing of the National Anthem to pay respect to Chennault’s service.

“I have a feeling that he would be proud of this,” Calloway said. “The fact that he's being remembered at Barksdale Air Force Base, would be special to him. It is very special to our family.”