TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chaplain (Capt.) Matthew Ellis, 349th AMW, enjoys a chat with two residents of the California Veterans Home, Yountville, at Operation Gratitude 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Master Sgt. Ellen Hatfield)
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --Senior Airman Valerie Williams, 349th Mission Support Squadron, serves mimosas and orange juice, during brunch with the veterans. U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Master Sgt. Ellen Hatfield)
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- MSgt. Richard Roberds, 349th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, thanks a veteran for paving the way for those of us still serving. (U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Master Sgt. Ellen Hatfield)
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --A jazz combo of the Band of the Golden West plays a tune while Master Sgt. (ret) Jim Barber “cuts a rug” on the dance floor with one of the veterans.(U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Master Sgt. Ellen Hatfield)
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --Chief Master Sgt. Sherry Jensen, former 349th member now with the 452nd ASTS, March Air Reserve Base, shares some stories and a smile with a veteran. (U.S. Air Force photo / Senior Master Sgt. Ellen Hatfield)
by Senior Master Sgt. Ellen Hatfield
349th Public Affairs
7/1/2012 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Twelve years ago, Senior Master Sgt. (ret) Caryl Anne Hathaway and Col. (ret) Richard
Hum, cooked up the idea of a brunch to thank the veterans at the California Veterans Home, Yountville, for their sacrifice and service, on behalf of our country.
This year's celebration June 16 was better than ever, with about 50 volunteers, including the 349th Air Mobility Wing, the 60th AMW, family and friends. Some of the wing's Airmen have family living at the Home, and they took the opportunity to enjoy this special day before Father's Day.
Master Sgt. Amy Lukens-Malone of the Band of the Golden West, sang our National Anthem, and a jazz combo from the band provided nostalgic music for the guests. Wrapping up the fun every year is a lively raffle of prizes donated by our local Solano County benefactors.
The first year of the celebration, the Home still had two living World War I veterans. Over the 12 years of this celebration, more have passed on. Sadly, Colonel Hum passed away shortly before last year's event. A tireless advocate and volunteer for veterans and their cause, his Air Force career spanned three wars - World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was the first American of Chinese descent to be assigned as a military attaché with diplomatic accreditation in the U.S. Foreign Service. He was awarded five Legion of Merit medals during his career.
He and his wife, Jane, had lived at the Home since 1996, where he was well-known, admired and loved. His proudest accomplishments remained his long and loving marriage to his wife, and his children and grandchildren. Of those, his son, Richard, is a retired Air Force chaplain, and his grandson, Capt. David Hum, a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, is a MC-12 pilot at Beale AFB.
It was altogether fitting that both his widow and grandson were in attendance this year, as Operation Gratitude chairperson Tech. Sgt. Jeff Forzaglia, 79th Air Refueling Squadron, presented the newly created Col. Richard F. Hum Award, for exemplary community service, volunteerism, and devotion to veterans, to Stanley Davis. Davis, a member of the Travis Regional Armed Forces Council and generous supporter of not only the base but the greater Solano communities, has been a tireless advocate and volunteer for our military and veterans.
"I don't know what to say," he said, accepting the accolade. "Except that this award isn't for me, it belongs to all you veterans."