Veterans

May 24, 2013

Memorial Day: Remember our veterans

Tags:
Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

MemorialDay_pict
SOUTHWEST ASIA – The Civil War ended nearly 150 years ago on May 9, 1865, marking the beginning to a new era. However, many lives were lost during the more than four-year war; and, as a result, the Grand Army of the Republic established what was then called “Decoration Day” three years later on May 5, 1868.

It wasn’t until after World War I the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. More than a century later in 1971, Congress declared the last Monday in May to be Memorial Day.

The federal holiday affords Americans an opportunity to reflect on the lives lost protecting the nation’s interests at home and abroad. For servicemembers deployed to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, it’s a way to be thankful for the freedoms Americans enjoy every day.

“For me, it’s honoring those who have served before me, both past and present,” said Tech. Sgt. Ginger Bell, a 379th Force Support Squadron food service contracting office representative, whose father and sister have both served in the military.

Family tradition is what brought many to join the ranks. For Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Black, he’s continuing that legacy.

“My father served in Vietnam,” Black said, who is an aviation electrician with the VAQ-138 Electronic Attack Squadron here. “When your country calls you to do something — to be a part of something bigger than yourself — you proudly stand up and serve. I joined to be that person others learn to rely on, uphold life at all cost and keep others free.”

These freedoms do not come without cost — a truth all servicemembers know when they raise their right hand and take the oath.

“I think of the guys who, through thick and thin, survived the foxholes, the diseases and bullets flying everywhere to save their friends and family from those who stop at nothing to do us harm,” said Senior Airman David Carter, a 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron aircrew ground equipment journeyman, who also comes from a long line of military service. “We are where we’re at as a country because of the sacrifices our military has made.”

The origins of special services to honor those who die in war can be found more than 2,400 years ago. The Athenian leader, Pericles, offered a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War that could be applied today to the 1.1 million Americans who died in the nation’s wars: “Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.”

Over the years, Memorial Day evolved into a day Americans remember all those who died.

“The day means remembering all those who have passed,” said Senior Airman Caprice Tyler, a 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron patrolman. “It’s showing respect for my loved ones regardless of if they’ve served in the military or not.”

In December 2000, Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” which encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. relative local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who died in service to the nation.

“Please keep all our veterans in mind,” said Senior Airman Dustin Elliott, a 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator.
“Remember our prisoners of war and those missing in action. This day embodies everything we enlisted for, so take a moment to remember those who have come before you.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
vetsb52

DAV shares message of support with veterans, showcase B-25 flyby

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) will reach out to veterans and their families sharing its message of service and volunteerism in support of our nation’s combat-wounded men and women at Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona air ...
 
 

Social Security launches expedited veteran disability process

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Social Security claims from veterans with a Veterans Affairs Department disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total have a new process that will treat their applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions. Carolyn W. Colvin, the acting Social Security commissioner, said the new process is similar to the way...
 
 

VA announces rollout of secure veteran health ID cards

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the phased roll out of newly designed, more secure Veteran Health Identification Cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel. In addition to being more secure, the card has been transformed into a Veterans Health Identification...
 

 

DOD electronic health records help VA disability claims

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Defense Department has made troops’ health records electronically available to the Veterans Affairs Department to speed up the adjudication of disability claims, a DOD health information technology official said. Now in place for service members who have separated or discharged from the military since Jan. 1, the Health Artifact and Image...
 
 

VA launches online tool to calculate GI Bill benefits

WASHINGTON – The Veterans Affairs Department today launched a new online tool to make it easier for veterans, service members and family members to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about VA’s approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country. “We are pleased that Post-9/11 veterans are taking...
 
 

Service members are assisted with transition

So you’re getting out of the military and you’re trying to figure what’s next for your life. The initial thought that comes to most people’s mind is, “What am I going to do first?” The conversion from military to civilian life can be stressful but the military has a variety of ways to help through...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin