Veteran's Day - a time to pay tribute

  • Published
  • By Col. John C. Flournoy, Jr.
  • 349th Air Mobility Wing Commander
This month we will take time out, as we always do on Veteran's Day, to
pay special tribute to the millions of veterans who served and are still
serving this great nation. From Private Frank Buckles, who passed in March of this year at age 110, and was the last known surviving World War I veteran, to the youngest recruit who took a solemn oath, to the countless brave men and women who paid the ultimate price defending the freedom that we are able to enjoy, we remember them all. We promise to serve with the utmost dedication, drive and determination, exceeding all standards of excellence and to never forget the sacrifices that they made for all of us.

Over the past two years, I've been blessed to be able to serve alongside so many truly professional citizen airmen, whose sacrifice of time away from family, friends and employers, to serve in the Air Force Reserve has been nothing short of phenomenal. I want to thank each and every one of you for your tireless efforts and your unwavering support to the entire 349th Air Mobility Wing team.

You've met each challenge head on and continuously come out on top. Your outstanding unit and individual accomplishments continue to be recognized at all levels and for that you can be very proud. The same warrior spirit that has taken you through multiple deployments to combat the enemy, care for our wounded warriors or to transport our nation's senior leaders to locations around the globe will certainly carry you through the upcoming challenges we face as a military, and as a nation.
The Navy's newest recruiting commercial says it best when describing the call to serve and I hope that you'll always take these words to heart.

"The call to serve, it has no sound, yet I have heard it in the whispered retelling of honorable sacrifices made by those who have served before me. The call to serve has no form, yet I have clearly seen it in the eyes of the men and women infinitely more courageous and more driven than most. The call to serve has no weight, yet I have held it in my hands. I will commit to carry it close to my heart until my country is safe and the anguish of those less fortunate is soothed. The call to serve is at once invisible and always present, and for those who choose to answer the call, for their country, for their fellow man and for themselves, it is the most powerful force on earth."

Thank you for answering that call to serve here at the 349th AMW. Thank you for the tremendous sacrifices that you continue to make for your units and your fellow Wingmen. I look forward to seeing you soar to even greater heights in the years to come. God bless you and fight on!