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

Nell Calloway, president of the Chennault Museum, cuts a ribbon to officially open the new community book exchange box at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. Calloway is the granddaughter of Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault, to whom the book exchange box is dedicated

Nell Calloway, president of the Chennault Museum, cuts a ribbon to officially open the new community book exchange box at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. Calloway is the granddaughter of Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault, to whom the book exchange box is dedicated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Pugh)

Lt. Col. Richard Holmes, 2nd Bomb Wing unit chaplain, delivers the invocation for the new community book exchange box at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. The exchange box is located on Chennault Avenue and is dedicated to honor Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault’s exemplary service.

Lt. Col. Richard Holmes, 2nd Bomb Wing unit chaplain, delivers the invocation for the new community book exchange box at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. The exchange box is located on Chennault Avenue and is dedicated to honor Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault’s exemplary service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Pugh)

John Cannafax, Air Force Global Strike Command future operations specialist, makes remarks at the new community book exchange box dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. The exchange box is located on Chennault Avenue and is dedicated to honor Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault’s exemplary service.

John Cannafax, Air Force Global Strike Command future operations specialist, makes remarks at the new community book exchange box dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. The exchange box is located on Chennault Avenue and is dedicated to honor Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault’s exemplary service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Pugh)

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Kitchens, 2nd Maintenance Squadron NCO in charge of maintenance flight, salutes while the National Anthem plays at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. Kitchens crafted the new Barksdale community book exchange box with materials donated by the Every Warrior Network.

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Kitchens, 2nd Maintenance Squadron NCO in charge of maintenance flight, salutes while the National Anthem plays at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. Kitchens crafted the new Barksdale community book exchange box with materials donated by the Every Warrior Network. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Pugh)

Nell Calloway, president of the Chennault Museum, stands next to the new community book exchange box at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. Calloway is the granddaughter of Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault, to whom the book exchange box is dedicated.

Nell Calloway, president of the Chennault Museum, stands next to the new community book exchange box at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. Calloway is the granddaughter of Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault, to whom the book exchange box is dedicated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Pugh)

Nell Calloway, president of the Chennault Museum, adds a commemorative plaque to the new community book exchange box at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. Calloway is the granddaughter of Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault, to whom the book exchange box is dedicated.

Nell Calloway, president of the Chennault Museum, adds a commemorative plaque to the new community book exchange box at Barksdale Air Force Base, June 8, 2021. Calloway is the granddaughter of Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault, to whom the book exchange box is dedicated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Pugh)

Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana --

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.”