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 March 20, 2015

Christian Seder Meal Have you ever wondered what a Passover Seder is all about? Everyone is invited to attend a “teaching and demonstration” Christian Seder March 31 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Chapel 1 Annex. The elements of the Seder will be served as well as Matzo Ball Soup. The teaching demonstration...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Rosie the Riveter and me

Air Force photograph Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Longfellow displays a tattoo of “Rosie the Riveter” to showcase how she became who she is today. The history of Rosie shows that with dedication and effort, anyone can do anythin...
 
 

Exchange rewards academic excellence with You Made the Grade Program

Besides handling daily schoolwork, studying and tests, military students face unique challenges, including coping with separation from parents during deployments and multiple moves. In fact, according to the Military Child Education Coalition, military children typically move six to nine times by the time they’ve completed 12th grade, with many making multiple moves during high school....
 

 

Celebrating the work that social workers do

March is nationally recognized as Social Work Month. According to the National Association of Social Workers, since the first social work class was offered in the summer of 1898 at Columbia University, social workers have led the way developing private and charitable organizations to serve people in need. And now, social workers continue to address...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Kenji Thuloweit

AFAF campaign taking off at Edwards

This year’s Air Force Assistance Fund campaign officially kicks off March 23 at Edwards, and the secretary of the Air Force approved a $5.97 million goal for this year’s campaign. The AFAF is a charitable fund by Ai...
 
 

Holy Week Schedule

Catholic April 2 – Holy Thursday, 7 p.m. (Chapel 2) April 3 – Good Friday, 5 p.m. (Chapel 2) April 4 – Holy Saturday, 8 p.m. (Chapel 2) April 5 – Easter, 9 a.m. (Chapel 2) Protestant April 3 – Good Friday, 11:30 a.m., service and fellowship (Chapel 1) April 5 – Easter Services Gospel...
 




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>