Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard, 56th Fighter Wing commander, joined the West Valley Partners to receive The Great American Defense Community award March 25, 2017, at the Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Ariz.
The partners are a group of 14 local jurisdictions within the greater Phoenix metropolitan area that support and advocate for Luke Air Force Base.
The Great American Defense Community program was designed to recognize and celebrate communities whose exceptional commitment to improve the lives of service members, veterans and their families and serve as a model for all communities.
“The ADC recognize those communities that go out their way to support the military families, war fighters and veterans,” said Mike Cooper, Association of Defense Communities chairman.
Celeste Werner, ADC vice president and Phoenix representative, spoke to the community about the partnership between Luke AFB and the surrounding communities.
“I truly believe that we have done an amazing job working together,” Werner said. “Luke is very important to our community and they have done so much for us. It’s really a true partnership.”
Georgia Lord, City of Goodyear mayor, talked about the support of the Greater Phoenix area has for Luke.
“What a special day this is that we can watch a ball game and at the same time celebrate the men and women from Luke Air Force Base,” Lord said. “This is the Goodyear Stadium, but let me tell you, it’s not just Goodyear, it’s all of the West Valley cities. We came together because we knew that we need to keep our base open and we were going to get the F-35s.”
After speaking, Lord introduced Leonard for a few words before he had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch of the game.
“To build airpower, it takes teamwork,” Leonard said. “To care for people, it takes teamwork. To defend America, it takes teamwork. On the behalf of everyone at Luke Air Force Base, we thank you for your support. We see, hear and feel your support every day.”