BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Senior Airman Matthew Rice met with the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James a few months after receiving a surprise phone call from her on New Year’s Eve.
Rice met with Secretary James on her visit to Afghanistan last week. Rice talked to her before an Airmen’s Call with the base’s Air Force personnel.
During the recent meeting, “She autographed the photo that was taken during the New Year’s Eve call and thanked me for my service,” said Rice.
After receiving the call on New Year’s Eve, Rice said, “I was honored. It really made me feel good as an Airman to know that the Secretary of the Air Force really cares about us here in Afghanistan.”
Calls to deployed Service members are a tradition for senior U.S. government officials. Airmen are chosen by their military leadership to receive the calls due to their high job performance and professionalism.
Rice has been deployed for the last five months to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Finance Office located at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
Matthew Rice is the son of Samuel Rice and Grace Boyd from Altus, and a 2008 graduate of Altus High School.