Commentary

May 18, 2012

Reflection, gratitude befit Memorial Day

by Gen. Donald Hoffman
Air Force Materiel Command commander

As I prepare to retire, I once again find myself reflecting on what it means to serve.

Foremost in my thoughts are those who have risked their lives to preserve freedom and democracy.

Even as we are hosting barbecues this weekend, or just enjoying extra time with our families, brave men and women are demonstrating their commitment to the United States and our way of life as they engage in military operations far from home.

Over the years, more than one million American Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and Airmen have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our great nation. That number continues to grow. We owe these fallen warriors our gratitude and, though it can never truly be repaid, we should never forget that debt.

Take, for example, the Doolittle Raiders, who commemorated their 70th anniversary last month. Their mission was risky even as planned, but unexpected circumstances forced a difficult choice – cancel the raid or launch early and risk running out of fuel. They chose to launch. The Raiders dropped their bombs, but as their fuel gauges dropped, they knew they could not reach their designated airfields. Only 73 of the 80 Raiders returned home, some after being held prisoner for more than three years. Although the strike caused relatively little physical damage, the selfless mission of those brave Airmen forced the Japanese to strategically re-position their forces and boosted the morale of America and its allies.

Indeed, our history is full of stories of ordinary people who displayed extraordinary heroism through their service. This Memorial Day, remember the ones those stories are about – the sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters who bravely served and died protecting our freedoms.




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


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Library closure The Base Library will be closing early Feb. 28 for an official function. Hours of operation will be 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. For more information, call 661-275-2665. Blood drive The next American Red Cross Blood Drive on Edwards AFB is 10 a.m.-4 p.m., March 4 in the Chapel 1 Annex. Both...
 
 

Just American: A century of Black life

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially...
 
 

Leadership development program nominations due March 16

Nomination packages for majors and major-selects interested in the Defense Department 2015-2016 Executive Leadership Development Program are due to the Air Force Personnel Center by March 16, officials announced. The program, designed specifically for highly motivated officers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability, commitment to public service and integrity, and who have an inter...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka

C-12 pilots take to skies at Edwards

Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka Edwards AFB is home to the U.S. Air Force C-12 school house. Referred to as a split school house, when an individual is assigned to fly an Air Force C-12 Huron, they spend three weeks in Alab...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jim Varhegyi

AF senior leaders caution against sequestration

Air Force photograph by Jim Varhegyi Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III answers a question about the fiscal year 2016 President’s Budget request during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on D...
 
 

Soldier, retirees win big with Exchange’s ‘Your Holiday Bill Is On Us’ contest

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service made dreams come true for three grand-prize winners of the MILITARY STAR® “Your Holiday Bill Is On Us” sweepstakes—and for one young Soldier from Fort Bliss, winning has changed her life. As a grand-prize winner, Sgt. Kakala Loketi had her MILITARY STAR® account paid in full. During a...
 




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>