Salutes & Awards

January 4, 2019

Base recognizes honor guardsmen

Story and photo by Staff Sgt. FRANKLIN RAMOS
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Members from the Luke Air Force Base Honor Guard were awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal Dec. 12, 2018, during an honor guard recognition breakfast ceremony.

Twelve Airmen were recognized for completing a one-year commitment to the honor guard team.

“These 12 guardsmen have collectively supported more than 1,000 military funerals and ceremonies, and served over 5,000 hours of ceremonial functions both on and off base,” said Senior Airman Alejandro Barrios, Luke AFB honor guardsman and ceremony narrator.

The Luke AFB Honor Guard operates in one of the Air Force’s busiest areas of responsibility.

“This year, the honor guard team provided 760 funeral honors while traveling more than 48,000 miles within the state of Arizona,” Barrios said. “They also supported over 200 community events to include state sessions, veterans’ parades, professional sporting events and numerous base functions while demonstrating pride and professionalism to millions of viewers.”

The mission of base honor guard is to render military honors for veterans and active-duty service members at their interment ceremony.

“The rendering of military honors is a way to show the nation’s gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country,” Barrios said. “We are charged to preserve the sacred tradition of honoring their service.”

The ceremony consisted of a few video presentations, an invocation, breakfast, award presentations by Col. Robert Sylvester, 56th Mission Support Group commander and closing remarks by Col. Michael Richardson, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander.

“It’s important to recognize the sacrifice and discipline that you have shown as the Luke AFB Honor Guard and the heritage of this base. Precision, fitness, decorum, legacy and heritage, I would say, are the fundamental military traditions,” Richardson said. “Your willingness not only to serve our great nation but to honor our service in the way that you have served in honor guard exemplifies these traditions to such a high degree. From some of the most interesting and cheerful times to some of the most heartbreaking times you are there, so thank you for representing everything that our flag stands for.”

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