Snow Shoveling Airman Part 2: Operation Free Driveways

Written by: Erin Beene

Last winter, after a particularly intense winter storm where most everyone was snowed in, there was one Minot Airman who suffered through the freezing temps and backbreaking work to help clear snow-covered driveways on base for trapped families. That Airman was SrA Jacob Willette, 791 MSFS.

SrA Willette and his spouse enjoying their first winter in Minot.


The Northern Sentry covered the story last year (https://northernsentry.com/2023/01/20/snow-shoveling-airman-donates-350-to-afas/) as Willette managed to shovel 11-on base driveways and donated all the generated income to Air Force Aid Society (AFAS). This winter, Willette is back with what he is now calling “Operation Free Driveways”. As a bigger and better concept, Willette hopes this year he can recruit at least five other Airmen volunteers to cover more ground and shovel even more driveways, turning it into a real team effort. He would like to be ready to serve the off-base military community too if Mother Nature blesses Ward County with a white-out blizzard again this season.


Many MAFB families have no idea about snow and what to do when they can’t leave their homes. Some spouses are left alone with young children while their AD spouse is away in the missile field or deployed, making getting the driveway cleared themselves nearly impossible. These are the people and families that Willette hopes he can reach and help this year. In order to make this happen though, Willette needs volunteers. If you are able-bodied and willing to put in some donated hard work by helping others this winter season by shoveling driveways, please give Jacob Willette a call or text, 207-907-5711. Willette said he will provide snow shovels, but if you have your own or a snow blower that is welcome too.


Minot AFB in the winter season can be long and tough for many people. Instead of staying hidden away, now is the time to depend on each other. Reach out if you need help and volunteer to help SrA Willette clear more driveways this winter if you can!

Pippa Willette, Jacob’s daughter loves the snow and will be ready for the shoveling season this year. It truly is a family affair.

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