2019 Air Force Volunteer of the Year

By: Philip Harralson
April 11, 2019

Technical Sergeant Ryan Dirner can often be seen doing work with Airmen and military personnel all across San Antonio.  In fact, he was a member of the Lackland Base Honor Guard Team and has restocked cabinets and cleaned pantries at the Fisher Houses.  He started helping at the Lackland Fisher Houses in 2009 during an Airman Leadership School lunch event for our Fisher House guests.  In his own words, after a Fisher House dinner, He said, “I am amazed how a room full of strangers at the Fisher House can come together, sit down, put aside everything that they are dealing with in the world and enjoy each others company.”  From that time on, he was committed to helping military families who stayed at the Fisher Houses.  Using his leadership and organizational skills, he took it upon himself to organize teams from the 37thTraining Support Squadron, the 802ndForce Support Squadron, and the 57thIntelligence Squadron to provide meals here.

At first, getting volunteers was difficult but as a very determined individual, he eventually had enough funds, manpower, and skills to schedule dinners once a month for the last two year.  And hey, this very motivated NCO even got his wife and children involved. This once a month event has become known as the famous “Taco Tuesday”.  During the last nine years, this has resulted in over 50 meals, helping 1000 Fisher House guests while involving over 350 volunteers.  The meals saved military families an estimated $7,200 in meal cost during this period.