Heartfelt appreciation passed on to Team McConnell

  • Published
  • By Col. Donald J. Halpin
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander
This weekend our nation will celebrate Veteran's Day and, for some, it will be just another long weekend with family and friends. However, many more in our nation will reflect on the meaning of this day, and the sacrifices of you and your families, so that it may be a day of celebration and fellowship not clouded by fear or terror.

Veteran's Day originally recognized the signing of the treaty that ended the "Great War" (World War I) - a war that was to "end all wars." Instead, since then tyrants and extremists have arisen to attempt to force people to live in worlds of their liking - ones of fear and oppression. Yet, each time men and women like yourselves have arisen to meet and defeat that challenge.

World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia, and Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM all stand as testament to the hundreds of thousands who have served to ensure others have a chance at liberty - to live in worlds of their own design.

The world has changed much since the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, November 1918, but the need for your service has not.

As you know so well, it does not come easy. Whether you are active, Guard, Reserve or civilian it comes at great cost to the member and family. Know, however, people who have never known the rigors and rewards of serving know what your sacrifice means to them.

This week my family had the opportunity to see first-hand that America still remembers and appreciates you. Prior to the start of a show we attended the sponsors asked all military members and families to stand and be recognized. You should have heard the applause - heartfelt, loud and long - not just for those present, but also for those serving at home and abroad. Understand this was not a small company that did this - it is a major international company who does not need to "play" to the military audience. More than five years after 9-11 they not only remember, they also understand and appreciate what you do. They thank you as I do.

Thank you for serving. Know that you are making a difference.

Have a safe and happy Veteran's Day weekend.